Resisting the status quo
April 11, 2007
The status quo is what I think others are trapped in. Seldom does it occur to me that I'm the one that's stuck. The reason? As a leader, I assume I'm sufficiently proactive not to be unaware of when life is being held up by the comfort of not being uncomfortable.
It isn't that experiencing comfort violates kingdom mission. But I've learned that comfort should be the canary in the mineshaft, warning us of danger.
Forty years ago the book The Comfortable Pew warned the Anglican Church of its coming demise if the comfort of their preferential position in Canadian culture continued to rule their plans and organization. How prophetic.
What is there about comfort, which in an organization makes it so deadly? Human nature. Comfort builds complacency.
The balance between being at ease and feeling unease is impossible for organizations to maintain. If the congregation, organization or business is not edging out onto a ledge of increasing discomfort, the feelings of comfort are so compelling that they build into systems, protocols and defense procedures that protect rather than agitate for creativity.
I treasure Christian community for it brings me a wonderful sense of belonging and acceptance. Comfort is something other. It breeds a false sense of faith, couching me in its folds of assumed ministry. Comfort can lead one to pretend that, because we believe the right faith and mouth orthodox words, Christ's kingdom is alive and active.
As leaders, we are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring systems are under constant challenge and scrutiny. People depend on us to build into the annual calendar incursions of discomfort so we don't confuse the joy and peace of our calling with the complacency of comfort.
Father, Creator who calls us to co-manage your creation we long for comfort in being your children, accepted by the beloved. Help us not to confuse complacency with the comfort we experience in being your people. We confess we need to be unsettled when prone to protection. Stir me up, Lord. Amen.
Leaders must challenge the process because systems will unconsciously conspire to maintain the status quo and prevent change.