Posted tagged ‘religion’

Excellence vs. Perfection

August 19, 2009

As long as I have worked, I ahve seen plenty of people (bosses) who say that their goal for the organization is excellence. This sounds good until it is put into practice using the commonly available maps to excellence.

There is usually a great beginning push toward excellence, but soon the map calls for a shift in direction and the organization begins heading toward the goal of perfection. Like El Dorado, perfection never comes and most often a great team dissolves into a frustrated group of talented people. Frustration comes because, in most cases, the leader is in the sole position to steer the organization. Everyone, the staff, management team, etc. want to succeed with the plan and please the leader.

When headed to an imaginary place with real people, the leader has two choices. The first choice is to realize the delusion of perfection, correct the course and go on. The second is to get rid of the real people, hold firm to his/her delusion and fill the real people’s vacancies with others who like to play Imaginary Friends.

This seems like an easy call for a leader, but all too often Ego makes admission of flawed leadership something to be avoided at all costs. The result is a once great or forward moving company trying to survive and not go under. Reputation and real innovative drive are all but gone.

These are the companies that are either bought and leadership replaced or the company treads water until the inevitable closer occurs.

In the case of churches, these are places who, if the truly believe what most teach, should close and merge with another church who is focused on the real place of excellence.

Imagining or Real? I’m betting you would choose Reality.

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The New Trinity

January 15, 2009

Provocative title, I know, but for me, there are some things that I’m just beginning to see. A few weeks ago, a friend offered the use of a river house for me to think and collect and look to the future. Many ideas came out of that time and this is one of those ideas.

I’ve grown up in church and for the vast majority of my life worked within the church as volunteer or staff member. Yet again a majority of that time was spent in “leading worship”, a description I have never liked. Upon stepping back from the noise of church life and examining my own life, I’ve made the following observation. We are taught about the trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, but in the day to day activities of the church, across the world, there is another trinity that perhaps has more credibility.

The first in this New Trinity is Religion itself. The interesting additional thought to each part of the New Trinity, is that each can be and is percived differently based on the context of the observer. For now, we’ll just do an overview. Religion is the organized, strategic systemic context that sets the framework for our interaction with The Other or God.

The second is Spirituality. Spirituality is a buzzword for those who are interested in finding God, but who don’t want Religion. Spirituality is decidedly inward in focus. It is an awareness of the fact that there is more to life than what we see. Much more emotional and individualistic than group Religion.

The third is Worship, one of the most misunderstood words in  the religious glossary. Worship is both traditional and orderly, as well as experiential and mystical. It is celebrative, very inclusive and at the same time experienced by the individual on an extremely intimate scale.

We see the three individually, but like the orthodox definition of the Trinity, I believe this Trinity as well works best as it becomes One. This is something I haven’t seen, at least on a regular basis, but it is something that I believe can be seen, and will be seen.

Just as the human is body, mind and spirit and functions as a whole, the Church is religion, spirituality and worship and can function as a whole. As we listen to what science is discovering about the spiritual nature of man, the higher level teachings of Jesus, which often are mirror images of teachings of other timeless religious leaders, will become more of a possibility in our minds.