From Seth Godin’s blog yesterday:
“Here’s what doesn’t work: hacking around and ignoring what doesn’t work.
“Here’s what also doesn’t work: doing your best with your work and then dismissing the elements that don’t work as experiments.
“The best experiments are experiments on purpose. They are done with rigor and intent. They are measured. They are designed to either fail or create an approach that can be scaled.
“Great experimenters measure their results. They probe. They fail on purpose. And when they find something that works, they hand the knowledge over to operators and executors who can scale their work.
“You don’t get to call it an experiment after it fails.”
Like a lot of what Seth Godin writes, I can immediately see applications of this to church work. Our measurements might be different, but measuring things is important.
But what about this notion of the experimenter not necessarily being the person should be the operator/executor, the one who scales things up? Sounds a lot like the wisdom that the church planter is not the person who can sustain and grow a new faith community over time.
And, if we agree that there is a great need for many more people forming new experimental missional communities, then let’s be intentional about that and call it that and get serious about that. Let’s stop calling all the things that don’t work “just an experiment” and start doing these things on purpose.
What do you think about Godin’s advice on experimentation and how it applies to missional community formation?