Adopt or Adapt?

I worked with Brian Boone for almost ten years. I loved the phrase he used when we were presented with new ideas. He said on more than one occasion, “Remember we need to adapt these ideas to our situation, not adopt them.” Too many of us get this concept mixed up.  We look at an organization and want to be successful like they are, so we ignore our personal situation and copy or adopt everything they do.  Then we wonder why those things don’t work.  It’s because we have adopted their ideas, not adapted them.

I am reading three books simutaineously right now.  They are all written by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens.  These guys are on staff at Granger Community Church in Granger, IN.  Granger is sort of a burb of South Bend.  If you can say that South Bend has burbs.  They are titled Simply Strategic, and then they have seperate endings to the title.

Simply Strategic Stuff: Help for Leaders Drowning in the Details of Running a Church

Simply Strategic Growth: Attracting a Crowd to Your Church

 Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People For Ministry

Each book has about 99 two to three page chapters.  There are nugguts of ideas on every page.  As I read through the chapters of have one of three reactions.

First, I say to myself, that’s a great idea we need to do that.

Second, I may say that’s an idea we are already implementing.

Third, I may say we will never do that at LifePoint!  That’s just not us.

In all three cases I want to adapt not adopt their ideas.  If it’s a great idea, we need to tweak it a bit so it works here.  If it’s an idea we are already doing, I’m sure it’s not exactly how they are doing it at Granger.  And then there are things because of our culture, theology or location that we will never do here.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great books and ones all of us should be reading.  Just be careful to adapt the ideas you discover in these books so they work in your situation.

Thank you Brian Boone for drumming this concept into my consciousness long ago.  Well that’s this leader’s view.








2 responses to “Adopt or Adapt?

  1. Thanks for the feedback Lisa. I remember Brian stating that concept so many times. It has become a part of me.
    Have a GREAT day!

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