Fallow ground or yellow box

Describing a choice to a Church Meeting recently I likened
the options to the difference between fallow ground and a yellow box.

The fallow ground option says, let’s stop doing this
particular activity and then leave the space to see what might emerge, what
green shoots might start to grow in the space that has been created. (Like a field left fallow for the year to be renewed)

The yellow box option says, we must keep doing what we are
doing until the way ahead is clear, the time for change is when we know where
we are headed to next. Once we know the direction then we will be in a position
to make whatever changes are required and to navigate our way from here to
there. (Like a yellow junction box at traffic lights: do not enter until exit is clear)

I’m sure the contrast isn’t an original thought but can’t
think where I read it. However, it does seem to me that churches much prefer
the yellow box option; perhaps it is perceived as less risky, perhaps it is
because we value familiarity and continuity. Yet I suspect that the most
creative change and the most innovative thinking emerge from periods of fallow

One thought on “Fallow ground or yellow box

Add yours

  1. I REALLY like this!
    Can we apply the fallow field metaphor to Saturday Cafe please?
    There’s a phrase I really like that I use lots in a training and coaching context – If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!
    I find it’s really difficult in the church to suggest that we cease an activity and see what happens. A number of years ago I was part of the team that helped with one of our Mums and Toddlers sessions and we decided we could no longer serve adequately with the people we had. We were burnt out, exhausted and becoming resentful. We had a massive battle to convince elders at the time that it was the right thing to cease the session (though the other session continued). The team were left feeling deflated, guilty and judged! But we continued to meet as a group and prayed for guidance as to what God wanted us to do. God honoured those prayers and that decision and out of that group and connections with others was born a fantastic Parenting course that ran for nearly 3 years and served over a hundred parents bringing opportunity for close relationships and a more direct impact on the lives of parents and carers than we had ever been able to achieve in the 7 years I’d been involved in the Mums and toddlers session.
    So – a long-winded explanation of why I support the fallow field theory!


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