The church is in trouble – Some individual churches may be doing fine, but the stats are in and the church in North America is in trouble. Our levels of effectiveness are so low that, in many cases, we could have more impact if we quit our churches and started working for IBM. The solution isn’t tinkering – We’ve tried lower levels of change (reacting, restructuring, redesigning) but these aren’t enough. We need to go deeper: to reframe (look at the loads of mental models and cultural assumptions we never question) and regenerate (ask questions about why we are asking certain questions; focus on the meta-questions) instead. There were very few “how-to’s” at Velocity; the answers to the big questions are not at the pragmatic level. One size doesn’t fit all – Or rather one size fits everyone poorly. What works at Westwinds won’t work here. MapQuest (indigenous) leadership is key. The solution to your problem may not be in any book written; you might have to write that book. Creativity matters – Art and design are not for those who have ascended Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and have nothing else to worry about. It is part of our essence; it’s part of who God has created us to be. The more conservative the church, the more we’ve dissed art and sanitized our buildings (a product of rationalism). Art is the craving and yearning of the human heart. It may mean that our creative endeavors are not optional in ministry. We’re in Act Five – What if we stopped viewing the Bible as an answer book to life, a source of knowledge, or as a rulebook? We often reduce it to a set of principles. What if, instead, we saw the Bible as the first four acts of a five-act play? Our job is to improvise the fifth act by submersing ourselves in the first four acts. Our job isn’t to just learn the first four acts, but to prepare for living in the fifth act while honoring the first four. We’re not called to mimic the early church, but see them as a model that helps us live God’s call in our context. It’s tough work – Engaging culture is relatively easy. Engaging theology is relatively easy. Okay, not easy, but doable. Engaging both culture and theology at the same time is difficult and necessary, and there seem to be few who are doing both. Still coming – Top books recommended by Ron at Velocity.