Christian ministries are not insulated from the hyper-speed of change in the twenty-first century.
Knowledge and information are growing at rates never before seen in history (The Technium, 2008). This explosion of information, and the attendant introduction of new technologies driven by it, has led to a breakneck pace of change in the world around us. Even those of us involved in sharing the eternal and unchanging good news find ourselves in an environment where we either adapt or risk organizational death.
There are no easy guidebooks for adapting to the rapidly-changing world around us. We end up needing to experiment and try things, without knowing if the changes we are making will in fact help us serve God more effectively. Achieving and maintaining a culture of innovation and creativity in the context of missions brings with it significant leadership challenges, but also holds the promise of greater effectiveness as we leverage the changes around us for God’s glory.
Several colleagues were sitting around a conference table discussing a proposed methodology for Bible translation which could potentially revolutionize the effort to get God’s word in an understandable form to every people group needing it. It promised to create natural, accurate translations in a fraction of the time we had been able to achieve at our most aggressive pace.
The claim was ambitious and the prospect was exciting, but I could see the consternation and skepticism on the face of one of our most respected translation consultants. The presentation clearly had not convinced him, yet without his support, I knew the idea would never even get a hearing from those who mattered most on our staff. At one point, another colleague sitting next to this consultant leaned over and asked, “What would you think about just trying this in a …