The Norm

This morning I went through a few of Seth Godin’s most recent blog posts, and I came across a post entitled, “That’s not the way we do things around here.” It is the perfect phrase to use when favoring the status quo.

Godin notes that this phrase establishes a norm that most people will casually accept. The problem, however, is that it hinders growth: “If your goal is to encourage innovation, you blew it.”

While Godin writes this from a marketing perspective, this idea has implications in other aspects of our lives.

With the new year in full swing, there are already talks of failed resolutions. Eating healthier was thrown out the window when you ordered a 44-ounce chocolate shake from Sonic. Your motivation to work out everyday was silenced when you hit the snooze button.

The new year is exciting because it gives everyone an opportunity to hit the reset button, but unfortunately many of us simply settle for the status quo once again. We refuse to make challenging goals because “that’s not how we do things around here.”

During high school and college, I read less than 10 books from cover-to-cover. I told myself that reading was boring, so I didn’t do it. I skimmed Spark Notes the night before a quiz or test, and I did just fine. I was a non-reader.

In December of 2009, I set a goal to change that. My goal was to read 24 books during 2010, and I accomplished that goal. I even enjoyed it. Instead of settling by saying, “That’s not how I do things around here,” I said, “This just might work.”

This just might work.

Cars, airplanes, televisions, cell phones, business, and churches all started with an idea that it just might work.

How many times have you heard, “That’s not how we do things around here,” in your family? In your business? With your friends? With your in-laws? (Just kidding; I love my in-laws)

In your church?

It is the mantra of tradition. It is the slogan for the status quo.

I feel like there is a huge group of people out there that the Church is not reaching. There are a lot of excuses that can be made, but I feel that it all comes down to the idea that the Church feels comfortable where it is.

The Church felt that way 2000 years ago, and God had to send a baby, His Son, to the world to show us how to reach the lost. The comfortable were shaken by the words of the Messiah. Lives were changed. Souls were saved.

This just might work.


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