Tuesday, May 24, 2005


I saw an ad in a Consumer Electronics magazine recently that read, "If you're not innovating, you're just imitating."

What a profound statement that is. We live in a world of church copycats. Whatever is working somewhere, we think we can bring home, replicate it, and expect the same results. Imitating may be the most sincere form of flattery, but since when did the effectiveness of the Church have anything to do with flattery?

I have the utmost respect for Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Ed Young, and on and on, but what makes these men great to me is their willingness to hear what the Lord has called them to do in their specific places and follow Him into their endeavors. That is the one thing we should imitate from them - their innovation.

Jesus was an innovater. He took the law, fulfilled it, demonstrated it, lived it, and equipped some guys who spent time with him to do the same. They in turn took the message of Jesus to different places in different ways and gave birth to the Church. None of the churches in the Bible were exactly the same. They were all different with different struggles, different strengths, and different people. Jesus trained them for diversity. Our churches should be diverse. They should be innovative. They should all have different strengths. They should work together to overcome weaknesses. They shouldn't waste time thinking, "Why didn't we think of that?" or "we should do that".

God has a plan and a purpose for every church. My prayer is that our church would be more focused on being innovators than imitators. Our success is not determined by the success of other churches. Our results are not dependent upon the same formulas and strategies of other churches. Our success asks, "Lord, what do you want us to be?" How can we be innovators in San Marcos? How can we compliment the churches that are already here? Are we hearing your voice for what you're calling us to be?

Lord, may you allow us to fight the temptation to be imitators. May we not compare ourselves with the "success" of other churuches. Teach us to be innovators. Teach us to be world changers. Teach us to leave a wake of Christ-followers behind us. Teach us to demonstrate Your love and law to a world that is begging to see it. Amen.


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