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The Power of Tension: How Embracing Discomfort Can Increase Your Impact

A quick analysis of your life will tell you that tension is good. 

  • The tension of not understanding Algebra leads to learning.
  • The tension of weight-lifting leads to more strength.
  • Tension in relationships leads to unity and personal development.

The New Testament is filled with tension as well.

  • The tension between Jesus and his disciples.
  • The tension between Jesus and the religious leaders.
  • The tension between Jesus’ followers as they discerned how to apply his teaching to real-life situations.

Embracing tension is a good thing. Implementing ChurchOS® also creates some healthy tension, and it will bring your team together and lead to kingdom impact.

Here’s how ChurchOS tools (strategic conversations) create tension and alignment. We’ll use the Great Commission Engine® (GCE) as an example.

1. Clearly Define the Discussion Topic

Too often, we start discussions without clearly defining what we are talking about. The GCE framework provides biblically grounded starting points for kingdom impact conversations.

2. Eliminate the Poor Standards for Evaluation

Evaluation is critical, but we often use unsound methods to do it. Some poor evaluation standards include personal preference, past success, comparison to others, and anecdotal evidence. Strategic conversations can lead to standards of objective evaluation.

3. Establish True North Tension

ChurchOS uses a frame of double vision (doubling your kingdom impact in 5 years) as true north. Each part of the GCE drives towards this goal. Each component of the GCE helps us achieve our vision, reach the ONE, and mobilize the Ninety-nine–making more and better disciples! It’s under this tension that you should evaluate everything.

4. Give It a Grade

Each team member gives each component of the GCE a grade. The green, yellow, or red grading system allows team members to express their evaluation. This will create tension among team members, which is good because it drives us to the right next steps!

5. Discuss, Harvest, and Decide

As you discuss, focus on one topic at a time. What are the reasons for specific evaluations? (Be mindful of the inadequate standards of evaluation.) Lean into the healthy tension, harvest notes from the discussion and then choose your next steps.

You’ll be amazed at how this seemingly uncomfortable yet simple approach will align your team. And the outcomes of unity, confidence, and kingdom impact are definitely worth the tension!

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