Crushing It

TMC Digging A Deeper Well

By now you may have seen the ill-fated Apple ad that accompanied the release of their new iPad.  Entitled “Crush,” it showed artistic tools – musical instruments, paint and canvas, and all manner of whimsical creativity – literally being crushed into the “thinnest iPad yet.”  Reaction was swift; the ad was quickly withdrawn.  As one writer, Judd Baroff, put it, “I’m not sure ‘wanton destruction of all the good and beautiful things in this world’ was really the vibe you were trying for.”

Early in the Book of Acts, God’s Holy Spirit is given to the church, and energy, love, grace, and imagination for living in God’s world is unleashed.  We’ve just had a Sunday where churches in the Christian tradition have celebrated this “Day of Pentecost.”  Many churches (by no means all of them) make great plans to recognize and commemorate this day during worship services, and then everything goes back to “normal.”  Ushers and teachers and greeters resume their duties.  Committees continue to meet just the way they always have.  And church boards breathe a sigh of relief that the unleashing of God’s Spirit on the church one Sunday a year is something for worship, not ever for the board meeting!

What if that was not the intention in the Book of Acts?

We don’t think church boards crush creativity like the discarded Apple ad.  But there is a sense that not too much should be allowed to get out of control, or else … who knows what might happen?

Over the last four weeks, we have discussed the conversational triangle – with rich content, individual experience, and common work each playing a role.  Good board discussions include all three, in some measure, and move dynamically among them. The danger is getting stuck on any one point.  Presenting content alone can shut the conversation down, stifling voices and ideas from different corners of the church.  But staying with personal expression too long can be equally stifling, as any sense of the common dissipates.  And giving the meeting over to brainstorming that is unanchored in personal experience or content, and that doesn’t go anywhere or produce anything, is also crushing.

What if your board meeting was a place to open things up instead, to let the Spirit flow and be unleashed – not a place of undue order and control?  Risky?  Yes.  Just like that day in the Book of Acts.  Always, hope and creativity go together.

So, we invite you to view how someone reengineered that crushing Apple ad and made it something beautiful, something joyful, something … unleashed.

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