Well, my wife and I went with some friends to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" this evening. First off: It was awesome! I never saw the original (I know – I already caught heat over this), so I had no expectations. In fact, I had very low expectations because I can’t stand Tim Burton as a director. I’ll give him props for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Edward Scissorhands & Beetlejuice, but that’s as far as I go with him.
But as I watched the movie, I saw several leadership principles at work…
#1 – There’s No Success without a Successor – The whole point of letting 5 children into the factory was to find a successor to leave the plant to. I know many of us are young and we are just beginning the adventure, but we need to be on the lookout for those that can take some of the responsibilities we currently have and take them to the next level.
#2 – Never stop Innovating – Willy Wonka was constantly thinking of new ideas and/or new ways to improve old favorites. New churches are determined to "Do it differently" than the church they were sent from or from the establishment, but once we find the way to do it, we stay there. Innovation means we never stop tweaking and stretching the limits.
#3 – The Golden Ticket Buzz – People were crazy to get their hands on a golden ticket. The buzz was so intense over a 1 day tour of a chocolate factory. Is our church as enticing as a chocolate bar? (The movie was so good at enticing me that I bought a chocolate bar after the movie – my first candy bar in 5 months. It was glorious!) Is what’s coming out of our factory (The disciples we are making) so compelling that people are almost breaking down the door to come in? It’s a lofty goal, but I believe we can achieve it.
#4 – Gifted People Operating Inside Their Gifting – The squirrels were dealing with nuts and the Umpalumpas were dealing with the chocolate! We want everyone to have a servant’s heart and be willing to do anything that needs to be done, but most of their time should be spent within their areas of gifting. If that’s singing, let’s get them singing. If it’s administration, let’s let them plan. If it’s teaching, let them teach. I think we neglect to give ministry away because we believe since there’s something we don’t like to do, others won’t like it either. It’s just not true. There’s stuff that you do that will make someone’s day if you gave it to them. There are people who live to file papers. They love organization. So let them file. If there’s a giant mound of papers on your desk as you’re reading this, you don’t like filing. But the good news is that someone near you does. Introduce them to a great ministry opportunity. They will be very thankful.
So I highly recommend the movie and hope we can learn some chocolate covered lessons from Mr. Wonka…