In my blog post yesterday I mentioned "The Umbrella of Mercy." This a literal umbrella (which happens to be yellow) that sits in the middle of the conference table in the conference room of the church office here at the Gaylord E-Free Church (GEFC).
This umbrella is important because I believe that no idea is a bad idea. When it comes to staff meetings, and especially our Worship Design Group meetings in which we plan our upcoming worship services, ideas are golden. But have you ever sat in a meeting and had an idea pop into your head but you never shared it because you were afraid people would say, "That's a really stupid idea!"?
Well, there is no such thing as a "stupid idea." In fact, often it is the wackiest idea which can become the stepping stone that leads to the next great idea. That's how the best ideas are usually born. People give a "far out" idea that seems wacky in every way, shape and form, but it prompts a creative burst in someone else and before you know it, a great idea appears.
So, how does all of this fit into the "umbrella of mercy"? When we are in a meeting and someone has an idea they are hesitant to share, they simply ask for the "umbrella of mercy." The yellow umbrella is then past down to them and they hold it (open or closed doesn't matter) as they present their idea. This is the visible reminder to everyone in the room that no idea is a bad idea, and even though the idea being presented may seem wacky, it still has great value in being shared.
So, the next time you have an idea but you think it might be somewhat "stupid," just ask for the "umbrella of mercy." Who knows, your holding the umbrella may result in the next great idea coming to light!