So many times when we set out to innovate in our ministries we realize that the problems we are seeking to solve have many layers. Just as we dig into the first issue, we begin to understand the many other issues that have lead to this problem.
The tendancy is to stop digging and focus on the solution to the top layer of challenges. We say, "This is a big enough chunck to deal with for now!" There is a problem with this however. So many times the top layer cannot be solved until the underlying layers are dealt with. This is no fun to hear but it is true.
As I have dealt with this issue in the past, I have had no other choice than to keep digging. It is painful and challenging, but as you dig deeper into your particular challenge you begin to understand what real innovation in that area must look like.
You see, when you were working on the top layer, your innovation work might end up only compounding the problem. But if you really understand the depth of the challenge then your innovation work will be informed by all of the layers.
Hopefully this will lead to richer and more comprehensive solutions to the significant problems that face missions. It isn't fun work, but it is the work that we must do if we are to uncover the new ideas that will help us serve Christ in a changing world.
So lets get digging!