“If It Ain’t Broke, Break It!”

I’ve always been a reader. Down through the years I’ve read books of all kinds and enjoyed most of them. These days I don’t mess around with a book too much; if it doesn’t capture me in the first 10-15 pages I’m putting it down. Most books I’ve bought I at least had some kind of an idea what they were about before I laid the cash down. But I bought a book 25 or so years ago by the above title, “If It Ain’t Broke, Break It!” Turns out it was a life changer for me. I couldn’t have known how much, going in,…but looking back it shaped me in some good ways.

The title was ‘catchy’, you gotta admit that! The statement totally goes against conventional thinking and logic, right? It’s not a spiritual book although many of the principles have found their way into what I’ve been doing the past 32 years. It’s more of a business book. Logic, even common sense, would say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.  But this book Is based on the idea/assumption that businesses that at one time had a lion’s share of the market in their particular field somehow got lazy and complacent and then began to lose their footing. It happened with Xerox, IBM, Levis and other well known brands. They were the ‘Big Dogs’, so to speak….but their lackadaisical attitude allowed much smaller, hungry little upstart companies to steal away much of their business. And to this day they’ve never fully regained it.

Where it has helped me, in what I do as a church leader, is to not get complacent and lazy. I don’t feel that I have to reinvent the wheel but I do know that I need to stay relevant for the generation. If I’m going to do that I need to look at what I’m saying and doing periodically and then be honest with myself when it starts to feel stale.

The church in America is in a quandary. I hesitate to say that it’s broken but it is definitely gasping for air. What used to work doesn’t seem to work anymore. Conventional thinking and common sense have flatlined. And the ‘organism’ that should be exuding life to our culture has turned into an organization. We’re behind the curve of the twenty-first century. Every other thing is moving along at warp speed but the church seems to just be plodding along wondering why everyone’s not jumping on board.

You may not agree, and that’s OK with me. But maybe, just maybe we need to look at where we’re at and take the book’s advice!


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