bits from bob....

Do We Need A Better Mousetrap or a Better Mouse?

by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
June 9, 2002
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

I have been thinking about renewed hope and new challenges as we begin our work together with God's help. We desire evangelism, we pray for success in missions, we seek church growth, we yearn for a deeper spirituality and nurturing church experience. How can it happen? Can we simply tweak what we are already doing to do it better? What is the best approach?

Perhaps you, as I, have heard it all your life: "Build a better mousetrap and the world will flock to your door." I read one time about a team of genetic scientists who got it reversed--they built a better mouse. According to the article, a team of genetic scientists developed a much larger than normal mouse with the ability to provide various substances needed in human medicine through their milk. Mouse milk! Now that's a different approach. What are the lessons and applications for Christians and the church of Jesus Christ. Consider these challenges as we redream God's plan for our shared ministry together.

1. Reaching our full potential for God requires ingenuity. Instead of doing the same old things in the same old ways, instead of doing the same old things with a slightly different twist, instead of using only slight creativity, perhaps we sometimes need to cease focusing on the mousetrap and build a better mouse. Isn't that what Restoration is all about? Isn't Restoration a concept dependent on going back to the Bible and reading it and understanding it for ourselves? Doesn't Restoration demand the priesthood of believers? There is nothing wrong with building on the foundation already laid by others, but there is an inherent danger. We may cease thinking, we may lay aside creativity, and we may fail to build correctly because our source is man, not God. Previous foundations are valid only when they reflect God and His will.

2. Reaching our full potential for God requires freshness. Who would have thought of building a better mouse? Only those whose thoughts were not limited by the continual search for a better mousetrap. Sometimes we overlook solutions to the difficulties before us, even though those solutions are obvious, because we have lost the freshness and the wonder. We become set in our thought patterns, and fail to have a Word from God for the world in which we live. Jesus provides abundant living, and we must not fail to communicate that vibrancy and freshness to our world.

3. Reaching our full potential for God requires risk. The report did not tell of the attitudes of others during the search for a better mouse, but I suspect there were those who ridiculed. Ever since Nehemiah and his crew rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, and before, every worthwhile project has had its detractors.

Let us renew our commitment to do God's work in better and more effective ways as we strive to be instruments in his hand to build his cause and enlarge the borders of his kingdom.

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Last updated June 9, 2002.