“I saw this cool idea at another church, we should implement it here!” Seems like it’s working for them, why not do it at your church. Well, it could be an unintentional recipe for trouble! The problem with that good idea is that we don’t always know enough about it. Just because it looks cool, or even highly effective doesn’t mean it’s the BEST for you and your team.
Copying an idea correctly can keep you out of trouble if you answer two very important questions.
1. Are we trying to solve the same problem?
Just because an idea looks cool, shiny and even effective doesn’t mean it’s solving the same problem. We can look at an idea and appreciate how clever it is BUT it’s incredibly important to examine what problem they were trying to solve with that solution. Are we having that same problem? Is that problem a priority for us to deal with right now?
2. Do our values line up with theirs?
For example, if your organization values simplicity, and “their” organization does not…that absolutely will impact its effectiveness. You'll spend a lot of time tryin to get your team to buy into something that just doesn't feel right, something that just doesn't feel like "us".
Copying good ideas isn't a good strategy unless you do it correctly.
Don't look at what Saddleback, Northpoint, LifeChurch.tv or Willow Creek are doing without asking those two questions. It might seem like a great idea, but if it's not solving the same problem you're having, it may be a bad idea in your context.
In fact, if you've spent all your time copying everyone else's great ideas it won't be long before you can't recognize what problems your organization was actually having. And then you're in real trouble. Then you're stuck with no concrete sense of which way is out.
The question then becomes, is the problem your facing the core issue or is it just the repercussion of implementing an idea that doesn't fit your organization?
On the other hand, if you can answer YES to both those questions, you may have just found the perfect solution, from someone who's already proved it can work!