categories: creativity, personal, recommendations, spiritual development
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May 19th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

21 comments (+ Add)

Strategic Disruption: Disrupt Your Rhythms

The longer you do ministry, the easier it becomes to minister from memory. You tend to do what you used to do. It is safe, comfortable, and convenient.

To stay spiritually and creatively fresh, I suggest “strategic disruptions.” Today we’ll talk about disrupting life’s rhythms.

Because people can be creatures of habits, life often looks relatively similar from day to day, week to week, and year to year.

I suggest defining your rhythms—then disrupting them.

  • If you drive the same way to work, take a different road.
  • If you study the Bible the same way, try a different approach.
  • If you listen to the same type of music, tune into something entirely different.
  • If you read the same books, stretch yourself. Read out of your comfort zone.
  • If you order the same thing off the menu, venture out and try something you’ve never had.

By disrupting your rhythms, you may experience just enough to change your perspective slightly. Suddenly, you could be more sensitive to hear something new from God.

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  1. May 19, 2008 at 7:09 am


    I sometimes disrupt rhythms for the sake of disruption!

    BTW- I’m diggin’ the disruption of the blog look!

  2. May 19, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Earlier this year I needed some disruption. I changed up a lot of things. Starting with putting my pants on with the opposite leg and my shoes on with my right foot first instead of my left. It’s been a helpful reminder for me at the start of each day to change what I’m comfortable with.

  3. May 19, 2008 at 8:13 am


    Like the new look also. Was shocked when the bookmark opened to this. I thought I had the wrong site.

    I looked at your suggestions:
    I work one mile from home. No place else to go.
    Already do this.
    I like rock and not much else.
    My book bill is monstrous now! Yikes!
    And waste money on something I may not like? Do you reckon when the waiter at the local Mexican restaurant knows my order before I do? :)

    Seriously, I do agree with your post. Sameness in my personal life is sort of like saying, “I never did it that way before and I have no plan to change it now.” One of the things I like to do is since I cycle is to get out of the office early and go riding for 20-25 miles at lunchtime. That often gives me a fresh perspective so that when I get back I am thinking differently. Sometimes solutions have come while riding (although I struggle with doing two things at one time). Clearing my mind with physical exercise allows for a freshness to come, many times unexpectedly.

    I will be anxious to see what others say. And Andrew, I agree with Craig!!

  4. May 19, 2008 at 8:15 am

    finish to question about ordering Mexican. “…before I order the same thing too often?”

  5. 6nick waters
    May 19, 2008 at 8:16 am


    Do you think it’s possible to nurture a lifestyle of strategic disruptions?

    If so, what does it take to make this type of behavior the norm? Thanks for your response.

    p.s. The color selection for the blog is refreshing.

  6. May 19, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Love the new look - nice rhythm change.

    I have recently move to a new home and there are many ways to the church I work at, so now my children beg me (we have a school at the church) to go a different way. I have been trying to teach them to stay out of the rut. Thanks for the reminder!

  7. May 19, 2008 at 9:07 am

    [...] Translation: if you do something is the same way (whether it be preaching a sermon, or studying your Bible, or exercising) day after day, month after month, year after year, the less effective you will be. Your audience (your church, your mind, your body, etc.) will be less responsive because it already knows what is going to happen. It will basically sleep through the message. Time to get off autopilot and make a connection. Ed Young’s take on it. Craig Groeschel’s take on it. [...]

  8. May 19, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Disruption actually improves brain function as well, did you know that? It’s been proven to improve memory, depth of sleep, and creative output. So I’m thinking about applying the power of disruption to church as well - not Church, but church - that thing that happens on the weekend when Christians gather to do stuff together.

    On of my “jobs” these days is speaking and singing (for free) on behalf of Compassion International at about 100 churches a year. Our biggest hurdle to getting into churches with highly produced services? What I do is a disruption to how they usually do things.

    It’s simpler. No lighting rig, no eye candy for the big screen, no creative set, no band. Just a guy and his instrument and some words proven over the last several years to effectively mobilize Christians to generosity.

    Why, if disruption is a virtue - and there’s no real case that can be made to the contrary - do programmatic/event-driven/highly creative/produced/whatever-we-label-them churches so resistant to disruptions like simplicity?

    Not rhetorical. Why?

    (I like the new look of the blog. Great job. A beautiful disruption.)

  9. May 19, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I’m completely disrupting my scheduled blogging time, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from not doing what I regularly do at the usual time! :)

  10. May 19, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Right on! If I don’t change I get stale and everyone knows it. In fact my wife is the first to notice…

    I will structure my days different or I will go to a completely different environment to do a reoccurring task.

    The book suggestion is huge. It’s funny, but I get a lot of spiritual principles from secular leadership books or businees or marketing books. Thanks!

  11. May 19, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Awesome thoughts Craig, it is very easy to slip into patterns or ruts. And a rut is just a grave with both ends knocked out. We need to be stretched constantly or we will never grow. As much as I don’t like disruptions, I NEED THEM or I will become useless. Blessed are the flexible for they will be stretched.

  12. May 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I think that ministry from memory can be very dangerous! We must be willing to adopt new methods in the name of the message, and these suggestions are truly helpful.

    For example, I have read several books by authors that are not in my normal “school of thought” and that has really helped.

    Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

    & I am currently reading

    Prophetic Evangelism by Sean Smith

    Thanks again for being relevant and for challenging me Craig!

  13. May 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    I would have preferred a subtle or slight disruption, but as usual I always seem to go over the top.

    After 10 years as a senior pastor, I left the ministry for 8 1/2 years. Now, my wife and I are in east Tennessee attempting to launch an innovative church experience.

    When I sat on the other side of the pulpit I saw something disturbing in many pastors and had to repent for being the same way. I saw a group out-of-touch and separated from the norm. I saw pastors that had gotten caught-up in the business of ministry and had no clue what the ordinary went through on a daily basis.

    Thanks Craig, slight disruptions in our routines in order to gain perspective, is so much easier than the alternative.


  14. 16Ariel
    May 19, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Craig, I recently “disrupted” my reading pattern by reading a biography on Abraham Lincoln instead of the usual church leadership books I read and it was one of the best books I have read in awhile.

    It really was a wonderful, very enjoyable disruption to do something different just for the sake of not getting into a rut.

  15. May 20, 2008 at 1:02 am

    [...] por Craig Groeschel Archivado en: Artículos [...]

  16. May 20, 2008 at 4:23 am

    I don’t think it’s very hard to disrupt yourself unless you disrupted your self and it didn’t go well.

    For example, if you order something different on a menu and it tasted horrible I think most people go back to their regular item and never try anything new again.

    I wonder do you have any advice to keep a bad disruption experience really locking you into normal?

  17. May 20, 2008 at 10:28 am

    [...] Craig Groeschel wrote up a great blog entry about strategic disruption.  If any part of your life has gotten into a rut, especially your spiritual life, then you need to [...]

  18. May 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t know if other people feel this way, but my challenge is to STOP being disruptive. As someone who tends to be all over the map, undisciplined, pulled in 20 different directions, and never likes to do the same thing twice, I’ve been working hard for months to find a rhythm and a schedule and stick to it! God has really been speaking to me through this, so it’s been good. Perhaps one day I’ll find I’ve swung too far in the other direction and life is far too stable, but at the moment I think I’m finding a better balance by getting my act together.

    Good topic!

  19. Jun 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

    [...] [Repost from May 19, 2008] [...]