Fortified by consuming five kinds of meat yesterday due to Chicago Ideas Week and Course Horse festivities (goat, chicken, pastrami, lobster, and salmon) I’m inspired by ideas about death, food, entrepreneurship and more. Because I’m (quite literally) weighed down, my own ideas this morning will be short and sweet:
Communities willing to try new ideas with fearlessness are thriving communities.
This is a fresh idea: Placing a cross covered with blackboard paint outside the front doors of the church building the week before All Saints’ Sunday and inviting people to write the names of people they miss.
This is a rehash: Doing what we do every year on All Saints’ Sunday and a) light candles, b) read names, or c) ignore All Saints’ Sunday altogether.
This is a fresh idea: Doing a Story Corps project with your congregation during Advent this December by inviting them to share memories from Advents and Christmases past.
This is a rehash: Doing Advent and Christmas The. Way. We’ve. Always. Done. It. whether we like it or not, whether it’s spiritually transformational or not.
The ideas above come from two of my brilliant colleagues who share their faithfulness by being fearless:
- They do not fear “failure.” If it doesn’t work, we don’t do it again. Not a problem.
- They do not fear upsetting those who Never Want Anything To Change because it reminds them of their childhood (even though new people neither know nor care about the decades-old customs.)
- They do not fear being intentional about connecting faith and customs. Many of us keep doing the same things over and over again without asking how our faith is deepening, how our discipleship is expanding, how our service is increasing.
Ideas are good, especially when they come from inspiration outside the walls of our church buildings. We can all become better followers of Jesus by learning from the interesting people that haven’t passed through our doors. Check out the ideas of these engaging people I’ve learned from this week: Jennifer Brokaw, Rebecca Soffer, Mitchell Davis, Marty Stewart, and Ranjana Bhargava. Tonight: Peter Thiel.
Image from Chicago Ideas Week 2014.