Originally written for TonyMorganLive.com
Recently, I helped a church staff evaluate the early blueprints for a new building project. I noticed a coffee bar was located in a very tight spot in the far corner of the lobby. When I asked the purpose of the coffee bar, know one on the team was entirely sure about it. They had seen one in a few other churches and figured it must be worth having. From there, we discussed how coffee bars are generally intended to foster community. The tight location of theirs would not allow for that. The team had come very close to falling into a trap that every church leader risks when they adopt someone else’s idea.
Replicating proven methods from other churches is not inherently wrong. In fact, it is nearly essential to innovation and relevance. However, when we transfer a method after only a surface-level observation, we fail to understand the strategic purpose behind the idea. Like puzzle pieces that don’t fit, these mismatched approaches can quickly limit the ministry they were meant to empower.
The next time you consider copying a method from another organization, ask yourself the following the three questions…