Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Playing with LEGOs for Holy Purposes

BloombergBusiness offers a great "insiders" view of the LEGO company.  While many of us grew up with the product as a creativity starter, the modern LEGO brand crosses over several different streams of revenue.  For example, one Oscar nominated song this year was from the LEGO Movie, not something Hollywood insiders could have predicted.

To watch the 20 minute LEGO piece, you can stream it via Netflix or online via:  (Link accessed 3/25/15)

After watching the video, consider these questions (or feel free to discuss them with a group of colleagues or congregants):

1)      Before you watched this video, how would you have described what LEGO's business looked like?   Did you notice that the answers may have been formed by what generation the respondent comes from?  (Older persons will remember LEGO much differently than your young children, who have experienced LEGO as kits, video games, a popular film, etc.)

2)       LEGO found its way forward by addressing its operational assumptions.   What hindered them and helped them move ahead?    What are some similar issues for our congregation's way of operating?

3)       The LEGO company found opportunities to improve by listening to its enthusiasts.  Who could our congregation listen to more carefully and learn from?  Whose voices have we tended not to listen for?

(NOTE:  LEGO itself has experienced criticism from parents as well as children, including a 7 year old girl who wrote a letter to the company concerned that the way girls and women were portrayed in newer products.  See this article for more:  Happily, the company has modified some of its approach.

Enthusiasts building their own LEGO sets have also contributed their own projects, including this recent image making the rounds on social media.  It depicts a diorama of the four female justices who have served on the U.S. Supreme Court.  More on the article:

4)        What is LEGO?   The CEO found that he had to engage in careful research about his product to arrive at an understanding that begins with LEGO being described as "a material that is endlessly creative and extremely logical".

The definition sounds a bit dry at first, yet as you can tell from the video, sticking to a well grounded statement of purpose can elevate creativity well above "the same old, same old".     In turn, how do we need to strike the balance of defining the church as a place and a people with a past yet also with a future that moves in ways not completely merely repeating what was while missing out on what is needed now?

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