I was recently invited to lead a devotional at one of our client’s monthly all-hands meetings. Which is amazing — it’s an honor to even be asked and I’m grateful that we have partners like that.

Like good systems consultants, Michael and I thought something relevant would be on point. Just thought I’d share it in its entirety here, as the message is vital for an individual’s personal life, their individual contributions in the workplace, the functional team’s priorities, and the leadership’s vision.

Pardon the bullet points and rough nature! These were my speaker’s notes…


  • Check out Mark 2:18-22. This might seem like a bit of an odd choice, but I promise it’s going somewhere. This popped up in a Bible study/devotional Michael was doing and we thought it would be perfect.
  • 18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
  • Ever heard the story about the 3 generations and cooking a roast? “Why do you cut off the ends of a roast before cooking it?” a husband asked his wife. “Because my mother did it that way” she responded with a smile. Curious, the husband called his wife’s mother and asked her the same question. When she gave an identical answer, he called his wife’s grandmother. The moment the elderly matron heard the question, she laughed and said “I don’t know why THEY cut off the ends of the roast, but I did it that way because a full roast wouldn’t fit into my pan.”
  • Practices need to serve a purpose at a specific time, but they can often lose their usefulness.
  • Your organization is at an interesting time. There’s a rapidly evolving political climate, isolation and loneliness are at a peak, and new opportunities will keep showing up.
  • We can’t over focus on concepts like “it’s how we’ve always done it”.
  • Mark’s point is that Jesus didn’t come to patch up old systems, which would be as foolish as the unshrunk cloth patch or new wine in old wineskin.
  • Innovation and opportunity demand change and strategic thinking, as opposed to residing too much in past successes and past realities.
  • One thing I and our team have really been wrestling with is to stop over-focusing on the “tyranny of the urgent” and be quiet and listen with intentionality.
  • The Bible has a consistent theme of humans stubbornly pressing into what they think is the right path or the right way of doing things, but God course corrects once they pray and listen.
  • All the way down to the simplicity of “come and follow me” to the apostles. At times, change may be radical.
  • But core values and guiding principals never change.
  • Check out Acts 16:6-10, and again, bear with me.
  • 6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul[a] had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
  • Themes like this are pervasive. Paul is on a mission, understands his core values, and is unwavering in ways that he should be unwavering.
  • But his team is constantly trying to push into areas with their own human-driven plans. God had something different in mind.
  • Course correcting visions often happen at night since it’s forced quiet time, and this was before they had distracting leisure like scrolling through Facebook to occupy their minds before bed. In the quiet moments, then the Spirit told them where to go.
  • I think that’s why the moments when I get the most clarity and change conviction are when I’m mowing or in the shower. Forced quiet time.
  • The key part: “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once…”
  • There was no hesitation, there was no “but that wasn’t the plan” conversations, and there were no “but this worked in the past” concepts. It’s another drop everything and go situation.
  • My prayer for your is that constant change is on the horizon, and this team is uniquely positioned to be the light to some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in our country. But to do so will require constant change internally and externally.
  • I’m NOT at all saying that you are is bad at that. We’ve come a long way, fires have been put out, a lot of good things are happening internally all the sudden, and you’re clearly attacking the mission in front of you.
  • I’m purely coming from a place where our own company is wrestling with this, I myself will always struggle with it (especially in tech where everything is an urgent fire), and practically every partner we work with will struggle with it. It’s a fact of life.
  • But be still, listen, be ready for God-directed change, and don’t cling to “how we’ve always done it” mindsets!