In last week’s post, I noted that Ender Wiggin found success because his perspective was different, and more effective, than everyone else’s, not only in the Battle Room but also before; it was in the ship that brought them to Battle School from Earth that Ender first realized that directions like “up” and “down” were fluid in a zero-gravity environment.
I find it notable that when Ender’s perspective is different from his peers’, it is because he is already looking ahead toward the goal rather than staying where he was to begin with. Just as in the shuttle to Battle School, where he orients himself towards what is ahead rather than continuing to hold on to “up” as the same direction it was when they entered the ship on Earth, in the Battle Room he thinks of directionality as it relates to his goal - “the enemy’s gate is down” - while others define it relative to the hallway from which their team entered.
I have heard it said that the “seven last words” of a church are “But we’ve always done it that way.” Yes, by continuing to act as in the past you may in fact win the game, but at what cost? By focusing on the goal instead, and by thinking out of the box when developing a plan for getting there, how many more people could the church reach, with how many fewer burnouts along the way?
The church needs more Enders: the people who look at things from a different perspective and focus on where they are going rather than where they came from. Even more than that, it needs people like Ender’s friends Alai and Bean, the ones who recognize and support outside-the-box thinking and who are willing to listen and learn and give the new ideas a try for the sake of ministry rather than tradition. May we strive to be like them, or at least, not to hold them back.