Freakanomoics and Church (pt 2)

Last post I tried to articulate the need to shift away from neoclassical theory of growth to new growth theory.  It was rather complicated and perhaps not that great of a read.  The bottom line was this: if the church wants to grow, the impetus for growth is innovation, thus the church needs to innovate ministry.

Shocking. I know.

Another little theory jumped out at me the other day while reading 30 Second Economics, it is called "Financial Instability Hypothesis".  This states that stability makes people reckless with decisions.  This hypothesis argues that when thing are stable in an economy then borrow in excess, lenders lend in excess and the resulting defaults on those loans lead to a financial crisis (not unlike the one we began to see in 2008).

The same can be said for church communities.

When things are good, innovation stops and people are content with the status quo.  No new groups are created.  Sermons become repetitive on a common theme.  Leadership is locked in just keeping up with the schedule that it it difficult to see what needs to be done "down the line".

As Hyman Minsky said, "stability is unstable."

Could this be in part why Jesus was constantly on the move?  Could this be why there is a strong emphasis in the life of Jesus for the teacher to stay in touch with the Spirit through prayer?  Could this be why Jesus argued that we put our heads forward and do not look back when we are plowing the field?  Is this why Jesus is not interested in who sits at his right or left, because that results in status quo thinking.  Could this be why the Holy Spirit pushes the disciples out of the upper room and into the streets?  Could this be why Paul set up Christian communities everywhere he could.

Christians ought to be weary of stability in our churches because we can easily slip into loving the status quo.