Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Crisis of Context

One of the greatest challenges to innovation in mission today is our crisis of context. What does that mean you say? Very simple...almost all of the ideas and thinking that circulate today are in snippets.

Think about it:

1. A quote on twitter is just 140 characters of a larger thought.
2. A song on itunes is just one piece of the artist's album
3. A Bible verse taken without those around it share an incomplete truth

And on and on...

Innovation desperately needs context. It is the side stories and the small details around the big idea that inform the new and innovative things. We settle for the soundbites but really what we need are those full body ideas with all of the nuance and the perspectives.

But nuance and perspective take time, consideration and thought. We are short on those things today and thus our innovation suffers.

Here is my challenge to you today:

Pick a key idea that you want to learn about and study it in the whole article...look at a few perspectives...ask a few people what they think.
Your next innovation will be much more significant if you have the context that surrounds it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Misunderstanding the Moment

"Father, give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to all which will come to me this day. Forbid that I should miss its graces by looking ahead to some tomorrow. Let me accept the newness each moment brings with awareness and gratitude. In the name of the one who makes all things new I pray. Amen" (Disciplines of the inner life)

This prayer really hit me today. I usually miss the graces God has for me on a daily basis. Why do I miss them? Let me contend that I miss them because I misunderstand the moment. In Mark 9:2-8 Peter misunderstood the moment as Jesus stood there transfigured before him. He thought it was a moment to build homes and to establish power when it was really a moment of new understanding and new realization for Peter, James and John.

In our work as innovators we often misunderstand the moment. Even today we will think that we are to aggressively pursue our dream when He wants us to humbly wait. We might think that today is the day when inspiration will hit and miss that inspiration because we were too busy to talk to our neighbor. We might be tired and hope that today will bring no new action when God wants to use this day as a milestone in our journey.

Being in tune with what God will do with each moment of our day is a tremendous challenge. However, it is the challenge of the Kingdom Innovator. Only when we are aware of how God is using the moments in our day will we be available to be part of the innovations that God wants to use to show His glory in this world.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Glimpses of the Kingdom

Would it be too radical to believe that God would utilize the innovation you are working on to communicate to those around you? I would like to contend that many times our innovations provide new and creative glimpses into the Kingdom. Who knows maybe the only interest God has in your innovation is the example it provides.

We are pretty utilitarian so this is hard for us to imagine. But after all. Our God is the one who paid his tax by having his disciple pull the money from a fish! That sure wasn't the most practical way to go about it. But it did teach those who experienced this amazing tax payment some powerful lessons.

What lessons does God want to teach you and others through your innovation?

I was in Sunday School this week at Fellowship Bible Church in Colorado Springs and I came up with one such example that was such an encouragement to me. We all know at least a little about GPS technology. It has revolutionized so much of our mapping software and other key digital tools. We were talking about God's guidance in our lives and it occurred to me that God's Holy Spirit is a lot like a GPS unit in your car. When you begin your relationship with Christ you insert the directions for Heaven. From that point on the Holy Spirit is guiding and directing you towards God and away from the things that might interest us. Even if we get off track in our car, the GPS recomputes how to get to the location and starts us back in the right direction.

What an amazing example of God's faithful and persistent love and guidance in our lives!

What innovations are you working on or interacting with?

How might God use that innovation to point people towards Him?