categories:, church, creativity, culture, development, innovation, leadership
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October 29th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

17 comments (+ Add)

Higher Threshold for Chaos

When we’re entering into a new season, I always challenge our leaders to have a higher threshold for chaos.

Systems tend to produce predictable outcomes. When we are innovating and growing, we never know what the outcome will be.

Many “great” ideas bomb. Then God seems to bless some average ideas in a big way.

While we are willing to allow things to get a little messy, we also work hard to make sure we are students.

  • What is God showing us?
  • What did we learn from the last failure?
  • What success is hidden in the last failure?

Our church is currently moving into a season of discovery. Once we discern what God wants us to know, we’ll recruit the right people. Then we’ll build systems and enjoy the ride—until God leads us into a learning and chaotic period again.

Personally, these are my favorite times!

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there are a total of17
  1. Oct 29, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I am looking forward to this season. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oct 29, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Embrasing chaos is not easy. What is the season of discovery that God is leading your church?

  3. Oct 29, 2009 at 9:38 am

    When life is chaotic and I’m out of my comfort zone, that’s when I hold close to God. It’s in these times that I pray more, listen more and walk by faith.

  4. Oct 29, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I guess I’m going to have to learn more about walking by faith, because the thought of inviting more chaos scares the mess out of me! But that may have to do with the fact that, as a small church youth pastor, most programs we do are chaos and I’m rather sick of it, and would just once like to have something go according to plan!

    But, I think you’re right: we have to leave room for chaos, and therefor a time to learn and grow. Without it, we’re not, as Brandon Duff said, walking by Faith.

    Aw man my stomach is roiling just thinking about it!

  5. 5Ed
    Oct 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I understand the importance of chaos in order to innovate and the challenge of leaders giving up control. How does it practically work? How does a church not end up with a million ministries in 10 different directions?

  6. Oct 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Great questions…i really need to be a student too..Thanks!

  7. Oct 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Personally I love the chaos! I find that the best leadership ideas come from these times and I’m forced to rely on God more than ever. Yes it freaks me out and it can be really painful but the benefits far outweight the discomfort.

    Structure is good and I need it but every so often we need to embrace the chaos and look for the new things God has for us. Be encouraged God will do His work!

  8. Oct 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    That post Deserves some THEME MUSIC…It Rocked! ( “Just Let Your SOUL GLOW”- From Coming to America) I have no idea where that came from…Ha…Great Thoughts.

  9. Oct 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks Craig, I needed to hear that. We are in a chaotic time right now and it tends to freak some people out. This post really gave me a new perspective.

  10. Oct 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    BRING. IT. ON. I am LOVIN’ the messy right now. It’s just the right amount of chaos. Over the past 6 years on church staff my Myers-Briggs has gone from ENTJ to ENTP because of this environment I think.

    It reminds me of the river vision in Ezekiel. How wet do you want get? In over my head, getting washed away, has been a great ride.

  11. 11Sherrye
    Oct 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I am so excited! Can’t wait to see what God’s going to do next in our church! Thanks for sharing that changes are on the horizon…..I hope I can participate in the chaos at my campus. Besides we need a little chaos to grow, if we were always comforatable we wouldn’t continue to seek him. Fun Fun! God is Good!

  12. Oct 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    [...] Higher Threshold for Chaos [...]

  13. Oct 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Timely. Love this one. The ability to listen, adapt then lead is crucial. Leaders are needed most in the challenging times. Good word.

  14. Oct 30, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    It was chaos in Genesis 1:2, that caused God to begin creating. Controlled chaos. Created chaos. It’s all good.

  15. 15Mike Kelly
    Oct 31, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Thanks Craig. Getting ready to step into a new ministry next week and know it will get chaotic quick. This post are ringing true for me. I want to learn and grow from past and take it into this ministry with good perspective. Systems are key especially in kidmin which is what I will be leading.

  16. Oct 31, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I don’t like chaos. I am one of those cowardly pastors who avoid it! I pray God gives me the faith to enter into God-driven times of chaos, so that God might might be glorified when he brings order out of it.

  17. Feb 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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