Posted by: everynation | November 2, 2009


greg-mitchellby Greg Mitchell

Last week I wrote about habits and this week I’m into fundamentals. I seem to be on a kick these days about routine and basics. I have good reason, however. I was in Nashville last week to speak at Every Nation’s ministry school and had a chance to visit my good friend Bert Thomson. We were talking about how success in life and ministry seems to be more about doing the basics than about trying to get fancy.

Every area of life seems to reinforce this truth: Sports teams that do the fundamentals win games. Businesses who serve their customers succeed. Marriages that choose love over selfishness are happier. Christianity “works” when we follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. People experience health and success wherever they focus on the basics.

Given all this, I have nervous hunch that all our talk about “thinking outside the box” is really a dangerous distraction. Or worse, it can be downright rebellion. When others or myself get overly creative I often fear that it is a thinly disguised resistance to doing what should be done. This is certainly true with my kids. When they don’t want to do what they’re told, their ability to think outside the box is truly remarkable. Creativity flows. Options abound.

Does this mean that creativity is wrong? When our creativity is replacing instead of expressing obedience, it is wrong. It is nothing more than self-amusement. Our focus in life must not be to reinvent the wheel, but to use what we have to bless God and others. Using the wheel we’ve got might lead to us improving the design, but even if it doesn’t, actually riding on an old wheel moves us far further than sitting on the cool idea that is in our heads.


Greg Mitchell is the senior pastor of Every Nation Vancouver and is the author of Pastor Greg’s Blog.


  1. Very wise. Thanks!

  2. Hello brother Greg. I was speaking with Calvin Weber (Westpoint Christian Centre) and he suggested I contact you. My wife and I are the founding pastors at Church on 99 in Squamish, B.C. I’m on the search for a good “Christian Foundations” class for our church and Calvin thought you may be using a good one. Are you willing to share it with other churches? Would you permit me to look at it?


    Steve Chapman
    604-213-0135 cell

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