Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christ-based innovation: servant

This is part of a series on Christ-based innovation, which I shared at an Educating for innovation weekend run by KCML in October. My task over the weekend was to provide spiritual wisdom, woven in partnership with workshopping processes around innovation. In terms of spiritual wisdom for innovation, I drew on Paul’s images from 1 Corinthians 3 and 4. (I cover these in much more detail in Built for change: A practical theology of innovation and collaboration

To explore the first image used by Paul, that of servant, I used lectio divina to reflect on Christ as an innovator who serves. After an introduction of Paul as innovator, here is what I said:

So this weekend, as innovators, we will open one of Paul’s letters. It is the letter of 1 Corinthians. Written by Paul to a church he has begun. And in 1 Corinthians, Paul describes his innovation, in six images. The first innovation image is that of servant.

In 1 Corinthians 3:4 “What is Paul? What is Apollos? Servants.” Again in 1 Corinthians 4:1, “Think of us in this way, as servants.”

So innovation for Paul begins with service. Paul does this because of the God he follows.

So let me read a servant Scripture, from John 13:2-15. I will read it 3 times. Each time, I will pause a the same place. I will ask you to imagine that moment of service in the story.

First time, I invite you to imagine watching Jesus washing the feet of one person from your case study tonight.

The smell as shoes come off. Can you see feet and toes? Can you see Jesus kneeing? Can you see him taking the towel? Can you hear the sound of water and the wiping of the feet.

I wonder what Jesus is saying?
I wonder what the person is saying to Jesus?

Second time I read it, I invite you to imagine watching Jesus washing the feet of one person from your community.

Third time, I read it, I invite you to imagine watching Jesus is washing your feet.

Christ-based innovation begins with leader as servant.

bookcover For the entire series of meditations on Christ-based innovation, go here. For reviews of my book, Built for change: A practical theology of innovation and collaboration, go here.

Posted by steve at 01:17 PM

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Christ-based innovation

A few weeks ago, I provided spiritual wisdom in an Educating for innovation weekend run by KCML. Seven teams from around New Zealand were brought together. They were offered a fabulous location and invited to work on taking ideas to opportunity for their local community context.

We worked with Dr Christine Woods from University of Auckland Business School, who was invited to walk us through the processes she used with small businesses and in Maori innovation. In planning the weekend, she was careful. “In working with Maori, I quickly realised I can’t just add on a bit of Maori to my existing work. I needed to begin with Maori values. So in this weekend, we can’t just add on a bit of Jesus. We need to begin with Christian values.”

I grinned. I had just written a book on faith-based innovation. In Built for change: A practical theology of innovation and collaboration I read Paul in light of Christ, using six images from 1 Corinthians 3 and 4. This includes an entire chapter on Jesus the innovator.

So here is how I introduced the weekend, a beginning located in Christ-based innovation:

We gather as whanua (family) of Ihu Karaiti (Jesus Christ). One of the more interesting innovators in the Christian tradition is Apostle Paul. Most (all) of Paul’s innovation begins when he, like us, goes to the edge.

So in Acts 16, Paul goes to the edge. He hears a man from Macedonia say “come on over.” Paul is a learner. Paul takes a risk. Paul forms a mission team with two others, Timothy and Silas.

And they go to a community in Macedonia called Philipi. In that community, he find some partners. He finds a business woman called Lydia. Together they form prayerful community in the borderlands outside the city

Then he moves to a community called Athens. He takes time in that community to learn the culture, to read their poets and study how cultures gather.

And in each place, in each community, Paul and his mission team, are gaining perspective, seeing more clearly, the Gospel in community.

And in each place, it is only once they get there, only once they begin, only once they listen, that they see light for a next direction.

And for one community, after Paul has left, he sends a letter. And in that letter, we get a glimpse of what it means for Paul to be an innovator.

And so this weekend, as innovators, we will open one of Paul’s letters. It is the letter of 1 Corinthians. It is written to a church that Paul has begun. And in that letter he describes his innovation. The first image is that of servant ….

Posted by steve at 03:00 PM