Charles Darwin observed, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” In this he got it right: the one with the ability to adapt wins. The feet of the red-eyed tree frog have developed suction cups on their toes, allowing them to climb trees and stick to leaves. Their beautiful coloration allows them to be covert—camouflaged under a leaf until the timing is right to emerge and strike its prey.
In human terms, it is not the kid in class with the highest I.Q. that ends up the wealthiest or the greatest leader—it’s the one with the most E.Q.—Emotional Intelligence. The ability to read a situation and adapt your strategy is the greatest indicator of ultimate success in relationships and business innovation.
How about in the movement Jesus started 2000 years ago? Historically, the church has always had the ability to adapt to different environments and survive. From the catacombs of Rome to the underground church in China, sincere believers have always discovered new ways to create flexible forms of meeting and growing. But what about the current church world? The decline of influence in western civilization is astonishing. In particular, the impact of believers on culture is in rapid decline and forecasting an alarming erosion among young people 25 years old and younger. We know the formula for building a certain type of church, but we don’t have models to shape modern nation states, and if we don’t adapt we may be finding our way back into a moral and spiritual dark ages.
Don’t settle for merely “going to church.” The front lines are now going to church and planting a new kind of church. They are a covert company of praying entrepreneurs who “go into every system” and “occupy” the landscape with new models of heaven invading earth.
I am interested in learning how you have adapted and what you see emerging in the church landscape. How are you going into systems? Tell me what strategies you are deploying … I want to hear from you!