I know some hear the concept of cross-pollination and worry about "the world" infiltrating the church. So let me make a clarification: this isn’t about the church being corrupted by sin, it’s about being open to truth wherever one finds it.
I’ve heard people say the church shouldn’t be taking advice from
leadership principles. But where does this dichotomy come from? The
dividing of the world into "secular" and "sacred" is an Enlightenment
invention, and has no place in the thinking of incarnational
Christianity. For the Christian, all things are sacred, because Christ
as reconciled "all things" to himself (Colossians 1:28). The true
isn’t between sacred leadership principles and secular ones, it’s
between good leadership and
bad leadership. Insights from the business world aren’t automatically
evil, just like labelling something "Christian" doesn’t automatically
make it redemptive or good. There’s good and bad leadership in the
business world, just like there’s good and bad leadership in the
church. Our goal shouldn’t be to do "Christian leadership", it should
be to lead Christianly, no matter the context.
The same kind of false dichotomy happens in music when people label
music "Christian" or "secular". Music is just like leadership – there
isn’t a "Christian" variety and a "secular" variety; instead, there’s
just "good" or "bad" music, music written and performed Christianly,
and music written and performed otherwise. The false dichotomy and the
labelling only serves to confuse us and give us an excuse to refrain
from discernment. Like Derek Webb writes in his song "A New Law":
Don’t teach me about politics and government
Just tell me who to vote for
Don’t teach me about truth and beauty
Just label my music
natural curiosity of the Cross-pollinator cuts through these false
dichotomies and brings fresh, creative, and even prophetic innovations
into ecclesiology and church life.
In fact, my whole Church 2.0
series is an exercise in cross-pollination, applying the ethos of Web
2.0 to ecclesiology. The Faces of Innovation series is similar, applying business innovation insights to
Part Four next Tuesday: How to get in touch with your inner Cross-pollinator.