Don't Forget the Outside Information

"We have inside information" means that an organization has information not generally available to those on the outside. Inside information has come to light in recent years, often in reference to the stock market. Those with inside information see and know things other cannot, at present time, see in the same manner. In churches and other ministries, relying on inside information can also have unintended consequences. What do I mean by that? Relying on information/perspectives from only those on the inside, so to speak, robs organizations of an outside pair of eyes, the insightful perspective of someone on the outside, looking in.

Let's say you're the pastor of a growing church. Your messages are relevant, your technology is changing with the times, people are coming, and finances are solid. Good news, right? What ain't broke, don't fix, yes? Let's take a closer look.

Where are the ideas coming from? Whose ideas-whose suggestions-are being heard, considered, and, implemented? Is it just from those who have been there since the beginning, the ones who don't remember anything else? Or are you secure enough to risk the status quo's future through those who moved to where you are, through those who are too old for children's and youth ministry, but are career/ministry-minded singles yearning to be accepted for who they are-not for what they can do?

How many "outside" ideas are not just heard, but actually listened to? Many an organization has suffered from the delusion that only those on the inside have relevancy, then wonder why they fall short of their God-ordained destiny.

A good way to expose yourself to new ideas is to include those new to your church or organization, the outsiders. Get to know them for who they are, then for what they can do. In time their perspective may be just the answer you've been praying for. Choosing to rely upon just your inner circle produces unintended consequences of unintended comfort and convenience.

Here's some inside information: The answer you need may well be lying dormant in that "outside" person who's been coming, the one with outside information to propel your church/organization to the next level. Don't forget the outside information.

Now that's information you can grow with. So, what are you doing about it? What are you willing to risk to get the best answer?