Tip it Over – The Parable of the Rocking Chair

Rocking Chair

We have a Jungle Gym in our back-yard. Yet, it’s invisible to most. If you entered our back yard, you wouldn’t see it. All you would see is a table and chairs, a few toys and a fallen over rocking chair. It has a way of falling over ever afternoon, because Norah, our 2-year-old (now 4-year-old), pushes it over so she can use it as her own personal climbing set. At first, we fought it. Norah would climb up into the seat of the chair, stand up, and start rocking–with great risk of falling over. Plus, to us, rocking chairs were for rocking.

Thankfully, one day, it blew over in a wind storm or something, and we saw her climbing on it. She loved it. Now, the rocking chair is hardly upright. It’s not a rocking chair any more. It’s a gym.

When our toddler was a baby, it was a rocking chair. When our baby became it toddler, it became a Jungle Gym. In a few years, it will morph back into a rocking chair. Oh, we could have purchased a Jungle Gym, or another rocking chair. Instead, we just tip it over. It works great. Over the years, I’ve “tipped over” staff members, ministries, facilities, and other things that needed “repurposing.” They had always been one thing…but could serve God and the Church better in another capacity. It’s the same stuff, just a different purpose.

In all churches, but especially those in which change is hard, repurposing traditional ministries might provide the freshness your church needs. For instance, it might be your fellowship hall is hardly used. If you “tipped it over,” you could worship in there or have a new kids worship time in there. This would freshen up a stodgy children’s ministry program or offer new opportunities for families to grow together. It could be the dwindling mid-week service you can’t kill can be tipped over and used for something else that, for this season in your church’s journey, is more effective.

When you can’t afford to buy more…

Before you let someone go…

If you really can’t change things now without blowing everything up…

See if there’s something you can tip over for a season. What looks like a rocking chair just¬†might turn out to be a Jungle Gym.

Note: This content adapted from a previous post.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.