This is Why You Don’t Like Disruption

Because, contrary to all evidence, we treat disruption as the exception rather than the rule.

While life experience overwhelmingly indicates that attaining perfect stasis and equilibrium is a myth, we continue – often unconsciously – to relentlessly pursue such conditions. On the other hand, we know full well that disruption and disequilibrium are constant and unavoidable, and yet we do not build capacity to encounter, navigate, and utilize them faithfully. It reminds me of what my colleague Mark Ramsey has said, that we tend to mistakenly think we are crossing over a bridge of transition in order to soon re-establish stability on the other side. We most certainly are not. Let’s dismiss the myth of stasis and equilibrium, and experience disruption as God’s gift that nurtures freedom, creativity, imagination, and faithfulness. 

If disruption is assumed, then creating slack in our schedule and systems is not seen as lazy or unproductive, but as a wise and necessary approach for anticipating unexpected needs, obligations, and opportunities.

If disruption is assumed, then holding things carefully but loosely will be experienced as grace and freedom rather than mismanagement and failure.

If disruption is assumed, then handing things off to others, trusting them, turning them loose, and not wringing our hands over how things might turn out, is not seen as negligence but as empowering leadership.

If disruption is assumed, then agility, flexibility, and nimbleness will become necessary and productive values for you and the ones with whom you serve.

If disruption is assumed, then the disappointment of those who treat it like an exception is a given. Anticipate the cost of their disappointment. Stay close but self-differentiated. Keep going.

If disruption is assumed, ministry will become more like the joy of navigating a river than paddling around a lake where the slightest disturbance seems out of place.

If disruption is assumed, then creating and leveraging disruption won’t seem all that disruptive.

Jesus accepted disruption as axiomatic, anticipating the unexpected, using it for his purposes. To his disciples, this often seemed too risky, unpredictable, reckless, or worse – bad management!  As long as we treat disruption as the exception rather than rule, we’ll continue to treat disruption as a problem rather than an experience that can take us more deeply into the life of God. 

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