传播与青年事务总监Patrick Scriven’s Ministries
下次我听到牧师争辩说，教会真正需要的是更具创新精神的牧师时，我可能会不知所措。唐’t get me wrong. I have nothing against 革新 or against innovative pastors in principle. The church certainly needs transformation and we desperately need folks with new ideas. My problem is with our temptation to locate 革新 with the clergy and the way it perpetuates a savior mythology, one that oppresses them as much as it does us wee lay folk.
埃弗里特·罗杰斯（Everett M. Rogers）以在他的书中推广解释技术采用生命周期的理论而闻名， 创新扩散. While the theory was originally developed studying farmers, it has been applied widely to other fields (no pun intended) to help us understand how 革新 occurs. Rogers visually presented the adoption of new technology with a bell curve similar to the one accompanying this 文章.
据罗杰斯说， 创新者 （约占人口的2.5％）受过更好的教育，更富裕并且更注重风险。 早期采用者 were younger and more educated. They tended to be community leaders but were less prosperous than 创新者. The 早期多数 较为保守，但仍对新想法持开放态度，并在社区中活跃并对邻居产生影响。的 后期多数 与以前的人群相比，他们年龄更大，受教育程度较低，相当保守并且在社交活动方面也较弱。最后 落后者 非常保守，拥有最小的农场和可用资本。他们也是年龄最大，受教育程度最低的人。 1
在考虑向教堂提出申请之前，我想先对Geoffrey A. Moore在这本名为 穿越鸿沟。摩尔采用了罗杰（Roger）模型的基础知识并将其应用于高科技产品的营销，提出了“ 裂口 在。。之间 '有远见的人”（创新者和早期采用者）和“实用主义者’ (the early/late majorities and laggards). He argues that the most difficult step in the adoption of 革新 is this one between the early adopters and the early majority. As as early adopter of technology whose been burned once or twice by the amazing product that never really caught on, his theory rings true.
As fascinating as these theories are, I’m only interested in them (or to be more accurate, my Wikipedia-level interpretation of them) because of how they might allow us to see the process of change in the church differently. Permit me to be deliberately provocative for the sake of our conversation here. Let me suggest that the pastor is exactly the wrong person to bring 革新 into an existing church and that Moore’s 裂口 is the reason why.
Let me suggest that the pastor is exactly the wrong person to bring 革新 into an existing church…
When a skilled pastor brings a new idea to an existing community I imagine they would have little problem getting that group of early adopters to agree to how amazing their 革新 is. Together, they might plot out a course for those new small groups, or for that trendy evening service, but how many of you can relate to the difficulty of getting the 实用主义者 on board? Might we consider that this is Moore’s 裂口 at work?
If we are to move forward, what the church really needs are innovative lay people; willing to adopt, suggest, and try new things. When a lay person puts forth a new idea and builds their group of advocates (early adopters), their 革新, particularly if it challenges the church culture, will still hit Moore’s 鸿沟。 The difference however is that now the pastor is free to insert their authority and influence to help good ideas to bridge this gap. And when they do so, they also create goodwill and affirm the gifts of their laity to boot.
Our churches need, desperately, to become places of change. While the occasional new idea from the pastor can be good modeling, the pastor that innovates continuously sucks the air out of the church and leaves no room for 革新 elsewhere. Our churches would be better served by clergy who excelled at creating and nurturing cultures of 革新.
I would expect that some might say that this sentiment is nice but they know, or serve, churches where creating a culture of 革新 is impossible. Where we find this to be true we should be quick to lock the doors and shutter the windows. Before we do this however, we should consider that there is a difference between a church that continuously rejects its pastor’s new ideas and one that refuses to create their own when given a chance.
The Spirit of God is the church’s true innovator. Relocating the process of 革新 where we know the Spirit resides – the community – is our most faithful path forward.
So, how might we create, nurture and sustain cultures of 革新 with the lay people of the church? I have a few thoughts but I’d rather hear yours. Leave a comment below. And then 点击这里 第二部分。
*如果您不’t know what ‘twerking’ is, 相信 me, your life is not incomplete.