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8 Responses to “Whittling Rotten Wood”

  1. Nushi says:

    Right on- I have seen this philosophy in many high tech Telecom companies over the past 27 years I’ve been in this field. Cisco, Google, and our JDSU (at least the Comm Test Div) are the few I know can make inovation happen. They started off that way and they continue to do so.
    Church also needs inovative leaders not copiers. Let’s follow the Willow Creek model! Hm… how many churches did that? Or we are Baptist and we do service like this for centuries. That is my fear for Redeemer. Have we examined our church model to make sure that we are NOT following the old traditional high church? The only church I know worth following is the New Test. church and how Jesus held “church” or should I say we are the Church. I think home meetings or something close to a home meeting is what helps people grew. I like Redeemer, but Mario and I are still waiting to see how different will it be from other churches in 2 years. Will growth make it “conform” to what most of know about organized church? What will we do differently to empower our body to be in the public sector effectively living out Christ in evey aspect of our lives? We’ll see.

  2. Kyle Vitasek says:

    Great analogy. Whittling rotten wood sounds like no fun.

    Can you flesh out disruption more? I wonder how that fits with re-creation, re-generation, re-animation…

    If we’re talking about a congregation of people that are supposed to be made new, disruption seems like the proverbial “board upside the head”, which has been an annoying analogy to me of late.

    Maybe I’m letting too much cultural connotation sink in to “disruption”, and not simply taking it for its definition.

    Thanks for “disrupt”ing my thinking.


  3. Mike Metzger says:


    Disruption simply follows from the deepest reality of the universe – “take and eat” – meaning that death precedes life. In the garden, before the fall, take and eat meant taking the life of fruit and vegetables to renew life (the Latin word for “renew” is “innovate”). Einstein said you can’t solve a problem inside the paradigm that created it. Thus, you must either disrupt your present assumptions or destroy them to innovate, or renew. But this presents a problem: too many pastors unwittingly operate inside what Philip Rieff called “the triumph of the therapeutic,” making the church a “safe place” and discouraging anything too disruptive. Instead, church leaders tend to look for a one-size-fits-all program that merely rearranges people and programs rather than disrupting paradigms and aligning the people and the organization with a more accurate assessment of human nature,

    For more on this, read Christensen’s “Innovators Dilemma,” where he writes that most institutions – and this would include the faith community – opt for “sustaining technologies” that don’t ruffle the feathers of existing assumptions. If they adopted disruptive technologies, it’d mean replacing staff and programs. This is why, unfortunately, sustaining technologies do not bring about innovation. They simply rearrange 3+2+1 into 1+2+3. Hence, most church leaders are simply whittling rotten wood.

  4. george says:

    Just as the Word says, “We can’t put new wine in old wineskins”, and how the man who looks in the mirror at himself and then walks away forgetting what he saw.
    Nothing is new, just old news happening to new people – Muggerich.

  5. Tim says:

    Interesting stuff. Thanks.

    BTW… am I the only one finding the white on black theme extremely difficult to read?

  6. Kyle Vitasek says:


    Can we maintain faithfulness and the perennial nature that we have as creatures created after an order with disruption as a modus operandi?

    I hear what you are saying about changing what is bad… but all the time? Maybe. Maybe that’s the real measure of a man, one who is constantly at peace in the midst of constant “healthy” disruption.

  7. Mike Metzger says:


    Its not simply changing what what is bad. All change is disruption (just as all communication is an interruption of attention). It’s the nature of change. Eating food in the garden included first killing it. Yanking a horseradish out of the ground ultimately kills the radish. Death brings forth life. Disruption is inherently good since the garden of Eden was perfect yet primitive. Therefore, it was to be improved upon – disrupted. This is reality – gaining muscle strength requires resistance training that requires tearing down existing muscle. Disruption brings forth innovation; renewal.


  8. Kyle Vitasek says:

    Thanks Mike.

    These are very good words for me at this stage in life. Thanks for keepin’ up with the comments. I’m lookin’ forward to Monday.


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