Since today we are dealing with many never-experienced-before problems, we will have an equally inexperienced stock of solutions from which to draw. As a result, our future depends on our ability to become creative in our analysis of any new problem and in our strategies to resolve our problems. But before a church can hope for much creativity from the members, regency-leaders must create an atmosphere that encourages creativity. Church leaders will struggle with people’s willingness to be creative because people are often afraid of embarrassment or they fear leadership will not value their creative efforts. In addition, in times of chaos people pull their thinking back into places of safety where life made more sense and they felt more in control.
The key to creating an atmosphere of creativity is for leaders to recognize and reward effort and “trial and error” even when the results are not “successful.” People must have some sense of safety, openness, and friendship to be willing to express ideas openly, to defer their unproven assumptions, and to try something new. Regency-leaders need to create an environment where ideas are “talked through” rather than debated and where people listen while withholding judgment. God put creativity in nearly all children. The regency-leader’s task is to resurface this creativity in adults. How can leaders do this?
Regent-leaders can redefine success by reclassifying ideas not as “failures,” but as “near successes.” It is like sailing from Oregon to Hawaii. You cannot just set the sail and rudder one time and arrive at your destination; you must continually correct thousands of “near successes” until you reach your goal, a task of true “trial and error.” Sailors find no reason to debase themselves because they must adjustments along the way. In the same way, regency-leaders and their congregations need to celebrate ideas that might need adjustments many times before they reach their goal. In today’s turbulent world, there is a high likelihood nearly every idea will need adjustment before reaching the target. This normal “trial and error” should be the norm in every congregation.
Regency-leaders can launch strategic activities to encourage creative thinking. They can strategically guide conversations in new directions. Regency-leaders can help a group identify their assumptions and then suggest reversing those assumptions to see what creative ideas surface. They can become models of creativity in the manner they encourage creativity within the congregation.
Giving your heart to others by listening to their heart
When you grow a leader who values people you help the whole world