Yesterday at Leadership Network we tried an experiment, something we often do. In this instance we invited a couple dozen top-tier leaders from the church and business community around Dallas to explore a series of “what if?” scenarios. In recent months Christians have responded quickly to the devastating earthquake in Haiti and other disasters including hurricanes, tsunamis, and 9/11. How are we preparing for future events that might generate an even more significant impact?
Our six intense hours together were the opposite of a sit and soak gathering. Instead we actively voiced and processed several dozen ideas. Then we then stepped back to ask what wisdom and perspective we need for the future when (not if) one of these occurs.
The photos on this blog show some of our work during “The Unthinkables,” with the bottom photo taken from the debrief afterwards. To watch an interview with three participants from “The Unthinkables,” see the February 16, 2010, archive of THE SHOW here.
Leadership Network has an event going almost every weekday on the calendar. For example, the day after “The Unthinkables” some of us moved into a laboratory gathering of 10 churches each trying to dramatically expand their small group ministries. While our current standard fare is to sponsor lots of small, focused conversations and networking events, we also do some broad projects. The next one requires no travel and is free: forty great Aha! moments on March 3 from people you perhaps haven’t heard of – but might in the coming months.
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 21 books on various aspects of church health and innovation. Recent blog posts include Unusual Ways of Taking the Church to the People, Meet Some Amazing Leaders Reaching Hispanics in America, More Large Churches Are Bridging the Racial Divide, Why Is “Everyone” Interested in Leadership Development, What’s New in Young Adult Ministries, Questions Raised by Executive Pastors, Looking for Lean Staff Churches, Downtown Churches: How Visible?, What Is Your Church Learning about Outreach?, What Are the Most Urgent Questions Tomorrow’s Church Must Face?, Nigerian-Based Church Comes to North America and Today’s Co-Pastor: A Slightly Growing Trend.