I hate the term “Devil’s Advocate.” Besides linking yourself with the devil (which is never a good idea), the “Devil’s advocate” is always the nay-sayer, the contrarian, and the person who is saying that it can’t be done. What is so great about The Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley is that it forces people out of that “Devil” mentality and into a mode of innovation where they can add something to a conversation as opposed to simply saying something cannot be done.
I’m all for living in reality and if an idea is ridiculous, I’m fine with hearing that. But I’m a guy that likes to hear solutions, not just the stating of the obvious. Christians are notorious for playing for the “Devil’s advocate” (whether they want to admit it or not) by criticizing what other churches, organizations, and each other do. What I see far too little of, is Christians who say, “I don’t really agree with that approach, but it did spur me on to think about how I could find a better solution.” Yes, this takes maturity and some courage to actually do something, but I believe the results would be great for the kingdom.
Paul wrote, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15) Interesting that word “Devour.” Reminds me of how Peter described Satan, as “a roaring lion looking for someone to “devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Sounds like the Devil’s advocate to me.
Anyway, the book is great and if you want to be an innovative church, this is a book that will help you identify the types of innovative people on your staff and in your leadership team.