I’m a business guy. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a person wired for process management—examining, critiquing, and improving efficiency in processes. I love the Church.

Unfortunately, I repeatedly see churches—tremendously effective churches—run inefficiently. Yes, one can be effective and yet be inefficient. A person or organization can significantly impact their market (business) or community (organization/church), but it may require a ton of overhead. However, this often leads to burnout, and one’s effectiveness is limited by their capacity. As efficiency improves, one’s potential for effectiveness also increases. To be clear, an increase in efficiency doesn’t guarantee growth in effectiveness, as there are many other factors. However, the potential is enlarged. In the end, inefficient churches never enjoy their fullest impact.

I’m currently reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. Though a book targeting entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, God has pricked my mind to read it through a lens of discipleship. After all, pastors lead organizations that should be exploring new markets (e.g., reaching new converts). And to do so requires a learning process—for the pastor, church, and potential/new converts.

Some initial questions I consider:

  • Can the Church be innovative in reaching the lost?
  • Can the discipleship process (e.g., building and developing believers) be innovative?
  • Is the Church interested in discipleship?
  • Is the Church willing to be disruptive in the market of meeting the needs of its communities?

Before this journey goes any further, one thing must always remain central and unchanged: Christ is the foundation, the primary agent, and the goal of discipleship. From this, I will never deviate. However, what begs to be considered is the process by which a new believer grows in Christ-likeness. Can the church explore new methods, more effective methods?