DIY Christians Embrace Failure

December 19, 2017 Justin Peter Gudel

DIY Christians embrace failure.


Google X, an arm of Alphabet (Google), focuses on new ideas and shooting for the moon.  In an interview with the head of X, Astro Teller calls their process/identity “a moonshot factory.”  

Part of their secret sauce, besides self-driving cars, is how they celebrate failure.  Once it’s unpacked, it makes a great deal of sense.  If a project is doomed to fail, and a team refuses to end it, there is an unneeded expense of resources.  Once the stigma of failure had been lifted from their culture, employees were more willing to take on world-changing projects that would have seemed risky. Oh, you can also learn from your failures.

This embrace of failure became such an essential part of the process, that as projects died, they’d throw parties and give bonuses for those working on them.

This attitude for failure has always been part of the PunkChiridion DIY mentality, because I’m a firm believer in evangelism being an Adaptive Challenge and not a Technical Problem (which will have to be another blog post).  

Here was my reasoning:

  1. In the eyes of God, I’m sinful and as such, a failure.  
  2. Everyone that PunkChiridion reaches out to, is likewise sinful.  
  3. Without the impetus of a perfect message, Christians can first focus on earnest personal sharing.  
  4. Embracing failure can remove the paralysis that many of us feel in regards to witnessing.
  5. We learn from our failures.    

F. A. I. L. = Future Attempt At Learning.

When we remove the impetus of perfection and success without blemish, people are empowered to act.  There is a line from the book of Ecclesiastes where the author says, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”  Paraphrased for us today, that line could instead read, “Those who wait for the perfect conditions and preparations will never act.”  

William Carey, a missionary from the 1700s, had an aphorism that highlighted the other side of the coin.  His phrase that still gets bandied around is, “Attempt great things for God.  Expect great things from God.”  

God has made many promises and declarations to us in His word.  One of those bold statements comes to us from a letter written by His disciple Paul.  He tells us, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”  God is all about using the failures of the world to do His work.

So PunkChiridion and all of its volunteers — are failures — because that is who God has chosen to do his work.

Today, instead of asking you to push the platform, I’m inviting you to embrace the bits of you that seem foolish or weak.  Today I’m urging you to take a step into being a DIY Christian.  

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