I was interviewed a few years ago by the Suncrest Church that I planted in 1994 in southeast Chicagoland for a New Year’s Sunday video. Knowing that I had been involved in entrepreneurial work since the 1980’s in church planting, seminary institutes, and in the marketplace with my wife’s company, Trim-It-Quick, I was asked what I have learned through the years about doing something new.
Practice intentional seeking
Be vigilant and alert to breakthrough opportunities and God-affirmed invitations to new initiatives. Be quick to listen and widely read. Ask God every day to sensitize your awareness to the thresholds that you could step through.
Participate in multi-processing
Interdependence is vital and can be a blessing when fleshing out a new idea. A few trusted sounding boards who have a proven track record of caring deeply about God’s will/mission and your best interest is immensely valuable. This helps you break out of old patterns and enables reflection on unquestioned or overlooked assumptions (aka – blind-spots). It also can bring several viable next-step strategies to the table. Diverse perspectives are not just good; the are indispensable. And remember that “synergy” is not a term invented by a Harvard Business School think-tank. “Synergos” is from the New Testament and was used by Paul, often meaning “fellow worker.” I do like the HBS definition though: 1 + 1 = 3.
An accountability partner who loves you and clearly “gets” the vision associated with the new idea is a must. Covenant with this special person to meet, talk, dream, and pray regularly and often. Be transparent – open. Be authentic – welcome this person speaking truthfully and bluntly into your life and the new idea.
A season of percolation is required in developing a new idea. A time to permit the Holy Spirit to guide your instincts and “gut” as you ask, welcome, and face questions that arise within your spirit and your circle of colleagues. Empower others to participate in the test run and seek 360° feedback from the idea executors, recipients, and observers.
Exercise the spiritual gift of party along the way (not just at the “finish-line” – whatever that is). This is key to not only the generation of even newer ideas but esprit de corps and spiritual/leadership formation for your team members.
If a new idea implementation doesn’t result in the reproduction of Christ-followers and ministry leaders, then the endeavor is incomplete.