I have sat around many a planning table and know the process. A leader presents an idea and almost always the first question is ‘Why? Why do you want to do this?” The question to a forward-moving leader is both necessary and difficult.
“A leader is a leader because he/she has already visited the future in his/her mind and has returned to the present to take others there”, wrote Myles Munroe in his book, Benefits of Change.
Those around a planning table have not visited the creative space of a visionary leader.
Yes, the “Why?” needs to be asked. We must evaluate and discuss the purpose of an idea, how it will fit into the overall program and vision, the cost, resources…and the list goes on. Rethinking an idea after a planning meeting also has much merit and needs to be done.
But I have often wondered how many good ideas were actually God-ideas. How many God ideas have been tossed into a waste bin or long forgotten in planning minutes because the “Why” question lead to a dead end and deemed impossible!
Perhaps it is because the wrong question was asked. Perhaps the right question to ask is: Why Not?
Asking Why Not? opens our creativity and imagination. It moves us into a creative world that has no limits. And it brings in a faith element with the understanding that we will not be able to figure out every detail. Even in a good planning discussion we cannot predict where and how God will lead, because God often works beyond our logic. He works beyond our careful calculations, and beyond what we think may happen or how an idea and vision will unfold.
Why Not? moves us into the divine creative realm of Ephesians 3:20…”God is able to do exceeding more than we could ever think, ask or imagine…”
Sadly, imagining is like a lost art in our ministry idea-dreaming processes. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are encouraged to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
We generally interpret this verse to mean that we must take captive every negative thought and bring it into obedience to Christ. True enough. But how about taking captive good ideas and making them obedient to Christ?
If we only ask the question “Why?” we will tend to focus on problems, challenges, and impossibilities.
Asking the question “Why Not?” sees opportunities and potential, not just problems. By opening up to creativity and faith we see past what is real to see something more real… possibilities in ideas that go beyond all logic!
And why not?
Margaret Gibb is the founder and director of Women Together, a global leadership development ministry for women. A leader, mentor and visionary, Margaret is a champion of women everywhere. She has over forty years experience as a leader, speaker and influencer in a variety of church, community and corporate settings. Margaret has also co-authored the book, Faith, Life & Leadership: 8 Canadian women tell their stories.
Visit WomenTogether for more information about Margaret Gibb, her book, and her ministry.