Monday, August 27, 2012

Crazy Ideas and Pastoral Wisdom

Church leaders will sometimes have people come to them with ideas for ministry.  Sometimes these make perfect sense and the pastor is left wondering, “why didn’t I think of that one”.  At the other times the idea is so off-the-wall that the pastor is left to scratch his head.  Yet, he also knows that sometimes these “crazy” ideas are really God-given burdens and that he needs to be careful not to squelch passion or more importantly squelch the work of the Spirit. 

So, how do you tell the difference between these crazy ideas that are just crazy ideas and crazy ideas that are actually God-given burdens?  Lee Eclov in his book Pastoral Graces offers a few questions that might help with sifting through the difference.

  • What made you think of that?
  • Have you thought through some of the challenges?
  • Have you talked about this idea with others?
  • Is there some reason you think this would be especially effective at our church now?
  • Are you invested in this ideas enough to write up a short proposal I could show to others?
  • Would you pray about this for a couple of weeks and see if God brings other people forward?

As Eclov says, “Good questions pump life into good ideas and let flimsy ideas quietly drift away”. 

What do you think of these questions? Would you add any others? 


  1. I generally go with two questions.

    Are you nuts?
    Have you been drinking again?

  2. Those are usually the two questions that my wife will ask.



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