Leading Change
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Calling Out Dogma

“Something held as an established tradition.”–Definition of Dogma

Established traditions work well only when the context from which those traditions emerged stays relatively equal. Unfortunately many of the traditions that made ministries successful are now becoming increasing less effective and archaic. Yet the traditions continue.

Jared Spool spoke at SXSWI on the topic of design decisions and shared this great illustration:

Jared Spool's Illustration The anatomy of a design decision sxswi 2011

The diagram illustrates a spectrum of practice from informal/intuitive to formal/non-intuitive. On the far left is what Spool calls “Tricks,” which are skills and techniques used inappropriately but with some effectiveness. On the far right is “Dogma,” which are practices that are executed without any intuition.

It seems like many established ministries have accumulated much Dogma and Methodologies that hinder innovation and prevent significant growth. By growth I do not mean just numerical but intellectual growth as well (think of a 13 year old trapped in a five year old’s body).

The challenge seems to be to discover,empower, and align Tricks and Techniques into a refined process while fighting the urge to turn those processes into methodologies and dogma.

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