Do you have a better idea?
An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a little boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The fisherman replied only a little while.
The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The businessman then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”
The fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”
To which the businessman replied, “Fifteen to 20 years.”
“But what then, señor?”
The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”
“Millions, señor? Then what?”
The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”
I love that story! The fisherman had already developed a full life, but someone else with a much bigger ego thought he could improve on how this man worked and lived. He couldn’t.
There are a lot of smart people in the church — some also with big egos — who are constantly trying to re-configure how to “do church” from the model we see demonstrated in the New Testament. They have brilliant sounding strategies and methodologies. But for the church to authentically and effectively be the church, we always wind up coming back to the original model found in scripture.
God’s plan was right the first time. Instead of spending so much time, energy, and resources trying to improve on His plan, perhaps the church would benefit more by simply executing it instead of tampering with it.