I am at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, Kansas for the Leadership Institute. It has been an excellent experience. I will plan on returning next year.
Yesterday, in our second general session, Adam Hamilton said that sometime leaders create chaos. The Online Dictionary defines chaos as "a state of utter confusion or disorder." Adam didn't comment much on what creating chaos means for him, but I have my own thoughts on the matter.
Creating chaos does not mean creating a continual situation of confusion and disorder. That would obviously be less than beneficial. Any effective organization needs order and structure. But the problem with the church is that it gets all too comfortable with the way things are. Good leaders do not create chaos to destroy order and stymie effectiveness. They create chaos at those times when an organization has become stagnant or is in decline. In this context the purpose of creating chaos is to shake up the status quo, to highlight that comfort has in reality become complacency and that stability has in fact become stagnation.
In creation, God created order out of the chaos. So in creating times of chaos in the church, pastors and lay leaders bring order and effectiveness and vitality out of the dark and formless void that has become the comfortable habitation of those in the church who desire that everything stay the same and who believe that somehow if they continue to do nothing other than hover over the calm waters, all will remain fine.
But if a new creation is to take place in the church, something new has to happen, and new creation cannot take place without transformation and that means change. And the new order that will result will be definitely be pleasing to the God who calls the church into the world for the sake of the world.
Sometimes a little chaos is good for the soul... and for the church.