The Good Kind of Crazy

I saw a friend recently to catch up…on family, work, mutual friends, and the like. When we’re together, we also often brainstorm, especially about the kind of churches we’d like to be a part of (occupational hazard!).

After filling me in on some of the latest and greatest ideas she’s had about the church she leads, she stopped and said, “You know, you’re about the only person I know who doesn’t think I’m crazy when I talk this way.”

“Actually,” I replied with a smile, “I think you’re crazy too. But the church needs crazy right now.”

Do you know what I mean? We’ve been doing things the same way for years and years and, let’s face it, it’s not working anymore. But rather than try something different for fear we get labeled as crazy, we try to keep things as much the same as possible.

I’ve got news for you. Nothing is going to be the same. Not about the way we do church. Not about the way we do seminary. Not the way we communicate or come up with ideas. Not the way we do work or home or just about anything. It’s all changing.

And a lot of our folks in leadership don’t see that. They want to fix things when instead we need to go back to the drawing board. Or maybe they know things are changing but just wish we could keep it more or less the same until they retire.

Which is why my friend is perceived as a little crazy. She’s not content with the same old thing, only better. She wants something new. So she has the youth of her church lead worship and participate in the sermon. She doesn’t do confirmation anymore, but instead finds ways to gather her youth around conversations about faith, life, and life lived faithfully. And this summer they’re not singing hymns at her church, but pop songs. And talking about popular YouTube videos. And other crazy stuff.

So is my friend crazy? Yeah, a little. But it’s not the crazy of expecting everything to stay the same, or wanting to be in control, or thinking we’ve got it all figured out, or that leadership means having all the answers. We know that crazy. It’s the crazy Einstein once identified as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Instead, my friend is the good kind of crazy. The kind of crazy that’s willing to take risks, make mistakes, make people mad once in a while by trying something totally out of the blue.

Why is this the good kind of crazy?

Because, let’s face it: we don’t really know what it’s going to take to make church work anymore. And the only thing crazier than trying out all kinds of new ways of doing things is staying the same.