The latest issue of Business 2.0 extracts “golden rules” from business big shots. One such example is from Andy Grove, former chairman and CEO for Intel. He quipped that only the paranoid survive. A self-proclaimed chief “paranoid” officer, Grove is a big believer in Murphy’s Law–if it can go wrong, it will. This translates into an advantage for Grove, as he uses his paranoia to predict and predicate the impending future looming around the corner.
I started thinking about current industries that are grappling with their uncertain futures. Often the paranoia comes from the threat of new industries that can topple established paradigms. Think 1980s deregulation, when the tel-com industry meant the end of Big Bell.
I am surprised at how many industries seem to be missing the real threat. It’s as if they are sidetracked or focused on the wrong fear or fears. Consider:
What does this mean for your church? Let’s stop fearing the obvious or the inevitable, and begin or continue stewarding the opportunity. Small churches fear not being big enough to support themselves; big churches fear not being able to sustain themselves. Progressive churches fear being just another cog in the system (progressive + time = contemporary), traditional churches fear being disconnected from reality.
In all of this, let’s not forget that people are leading busier lives than ever before, we are working for more but asking for less, and we’re wondering what Church (big C) is all about in this context.
As first century Publilius Syrus said, “What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope.”