Crisis, not unlike the one in which the church finds itself today, is either a definitive ending or an opportunistic beginning. We can hold our eyes tightly shut, ignoring and denying that a crisis is at hand, and disappear ignorantly into history. Or we can open our eyes widely, searching curiously (but not frantically) for the opportunity that God has placed before us, and shift powerfully into a newly designed future. Responding to crisis is not simply about whether someone is a pessimist or an optimist, it is more about whether someone is unimaginably certain or passionately curious. This is about the difference in a response based in the status-quo or one driven by innovation.
Albert Einstein once commented, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” It is curiosity which drives innovation, and innovation is born in opportunity. Crisis is an opportunity of innovation by the curious. Innovation occurs in places that were once innovated, but are now stagnate. Curiosity kills the status-quo of stagnation.
Innovation does not reinvent the wheel, but redefines it. Innovation finds its imagination in curiosity. Where certainty says, “This is all the wheel is and does,” curiosity asks, “But what else can it do? What else can I do with it? What else could it be? What else could be like it? How could it do it differently?” Curiosity thrives in opportunities. Opportunities are birthed in crisis.
Curiosity dreams of people coming into community because they are part of a cause. Community looking for a cause has a certain end-result of status-quo (which causes crisis). God has always been at work in the needs of the people. The cause is to be the work of God in those needs – His Vision of the Church; a community derived from the needs of the people. Curiously we ask, “What does this look like? How can we be God’s meeting of the needs – the expression of Christ on earth?” Either opportunity or desperation will spring out of need. One is an expression of Christ; the other, an ignorance of Him.
If “necessity is the mother of invention,” then crisis necessitates innovation. The Vision of God is certain. Leadership in the Vision, however, is out of curiosity. Curiosity in leadership equips innovation in others. Crisis has forced leaders to seek God and God’s Vision. God and God’s Vision empowers leaders to be curious about how God is innovating opportunities in the crisis.
God is already at work in mission to his lost world. Will leadership maintain its management of status-quo in a desperate, definitive ending? Or will it take the opportunity of crisis to be curious and wonder the possibilities; giving permission for people to dream of innovations, imagine new definitions, and passionately walk with their God in His Vision for the Church?