change the script and crush the box

In his most recent post our former Territorial Commander, Joe Noland (see link to the right), wrote about a need to "change the script". I have always enjoyed his writings and preaching while in SFOT. And on a personal note, he gave my wife and I permission get married during our summer assignment. We will always be apprecitive. That is just one of the ways he "changed the script" while he was TC.

I wanted to comment directly on his blog, but he doesn't allow it...he knows he'd get bombarded (both good and bad). So if you know him, ask him to read my blog! :o)

After one of our recent transfers (we've already had too many already) we had to attend a "new officers orientation" for the new division we moved to and while there, the DC gave a speech. One of his statements will stick with me forever. He said, and I quote (I wrote it down that day because I was so taken aback), "There has been a lot of talk in recent years about thinking and doing things outside the box. That's not what I want. I want you (while pantomiming a box with his hands) in the box!."

Anyway, what i would ask him is this: with some in leadership still "leading" in this way and having expectations like that, how are we supposed to be "change agents" (another of his phrases)? My wife and i already feel like we have completely isolated ourselves from leadership just because we had to focus on our family. We asked for a slight break because our children needed serious medical care...mostly due to the quarters we were living in at the time. Graciously, we were moved to where we are now, but I honestly think that many in leadership positions think we were whiny at best. We were doing as much as we could keeping the corps open while trying to keep our family together as well. We both went into depressions because of the lack of assistance we were receiving. Not until we asked for and got moving orders did any help come. I did not expect a perfect relationship with every DHQ officer for my whole career/ministry, but I don't want to be completely ostricized for the entirety either.

I love the concept of being outside the box and changing the script, but many times it seems like we are powerless to do so.

what are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

It is very difficult times within our organisation we have those who want to move ahead and applaud those who can think outside the box and do mission in creative and different ways then there are those who have no idea how to think outside the box and would prefer that we all stay within the box and do things the way they have always been done.

I believe our organisation was founded by people who were real out of the box movers but something has been lost as the years go by.

It is difficult being an out of the box thinker and mover - share your frustrations. Divisional Leadership so much dictates what can and cant be done however.

The only thing I can say from experience is choose your battles wisely accept some smaller compromises in exchange for bigger kingdom wins....until some time you have the freedom to completely move outside the box.

God Bless You and keep your head up high - it is an unfortunate side to our ministry that there are no boundaries between our family, private and ministry affairs as they are all blurred together and controled by otehrs.

Fred said...

I have read, and re-read your entry around this. I share your frustration, though not your situation. I'm enjoying tremendous freedom these days. I agree with the previous post. Wisdom was the prayer of Solomon, but you will know he didn't do well in exercising the gift. Be wise in thought and action and see what God is going to do - we believe in the sovereignty of God and in the end it will be HIS will that is accomplished.

God bless you.

Peter said...

you have to laugh just a little at the "I want you in the box" thing. Of course when they really mean something like that it's a little scary.

I am trying to think how people like George Scott Railton and the Booths were in the box. Or even Jesus for that matter. Not a very 'in the box guy'.

I guess all we can do is pray we never become the staugy generation that says to the next. Change=bad, stagnation = good.



Fred said...

I had to come back to this statement as I stumbled across a book the other day that was entitled "In the box"...or something like that. The premise is this. Some organizations are good at one thing - and when everyone starts working "out of the box" the organization can stop doing what it does best. I'm kind of hoping the DC read the book and has this intention. I would love to know how this pans out.