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Dealing With "Dream Deficiency Syndrome"

You May Need Some Loyal Mavericks!

If you’re of a certain age, the movie Office Space was a painfully awkward story of a mind-numbing, inspiration-sucking, cubicle-landscaped work environment. While it was over-the-top, it does reflect a problem we often find in church leadership structures: a critical “dream-deficiency.”

I get it: ministry can feel overwhelming and draining. Been there, done it, sold the t-shirt on eBay.

But doesn’t it seem sad that we serve a wildly creative God who flung solar systems across a universe, who poetically defines Himself as I Am Who I Am, who made hummingbirds and blue whales, and somehow we can’t find time to let our imagination run wild with what could be in our churches and communities? And we were designed in His image! Have we forgotten how to dream or how to call out dreams in others? What happened to the “what if”-questions in our churches?

So let me throw out one crazy idea that might help.

I bet you have some people in your church that actually do that. They’re mavericks—you may think untamable, contrarian, and maybe a little weird. You may have gotten burned by mavericks that were simply complainers because of a negative-oriented personality or a narcissistic need for recognition.

But there is a breed of mavericks that are invaluable. We call them “loyal mavericks”.

“Loyal mavericks” are vital. They’re devoted to the mission and vision of the organization and will raise a red flag when they sense there is a subtle drifting from the core values. Their dissension with conformity—which may have surreptitiously crept into your team—is guided by a commitment to the organization’s effectiveness and mission. In a healthy team, loyal mavericks feel safe in a truth-friendly environment that values risk-taking. They often just think a little differently…and it may be just what the doctor ordered for your church.

Organization guru Tom Peters once wrote, “Best way—bar none—to stay creative is to manage ‘hang out.’ Religiously. Hang out with weirdos (on any and all dimensions) rather than ‘same old, same old’ and you automatically win.”

Loyal mavericks can spark something in us. They can cause us to see something from an angle we hadn’t considered. They can tweak our thinking…and prime our creative juices in odd ways.

And without a healthy imagination, no organization can remain relevant in a world that desperately needs your message in a language they can hear.

Questions to Consider: Can you identify a couple of “loyal mavericks” in your church? And how do you think they would respond if asked whether their way of thinking is appreciated? How can you involve them in future planning?


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