groundhog-enorme-toute-grosse-253x300Yesterday I sat and watched the movie Groundhog Day again. I’ve seen it several times. In the story Bill Murray plays Phil, a local weatherman sent to report on the famous Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day. Something strange happens and Phil the weatherman finds himself in an endless loop of living he same day over and over again.

3904_file_hedgehog1I got thinking about Jim Collins’ “Hedgehog Concept” which has some similarities to this, and some important differences. Collins suggests in his book “Good to Great” that great leaders pursue their goals like hedgehogs. They persistently and relentlessly push toward the goal. They never give up until they reach the goal.

As I observe churches, I find that there are groundhog churches and hedgehog churches. Groundhog churches just keep repeating the same thing over and over and never get anywhere. Just like in the movie, they wake up every morning to the same day. In many of those churches, that day is in 1955. The music is the same, the order of worship is the same, and even the calendar is the same. It is as if every Sunday is a repeat of the Sunday before.

Hedgehog churches are different. Though they are represented by an animal no more glamorous than the groundhog, they are moving forward. They may not do a lot of flashy stuff, but they relentlessly pursue their goals. They aren’t moving in a loop but in a steady, straight line.

So, given the choice, will you be a groundhog or a hedgehog? Is your organization stuck in a loop, or are you moving towards your goals? If you are stuck in a loop, what will it take to break the cycle? (Phil eventually broke out of his cycle in the end.)


3 thoughts on “GROUNDHOG OR HEDGEHOG?”

  1. Amazing post! I hope that I can be a hedgehog when I’m older. I think it’s hard to let go of what you love for the future. I don’t want to be stuck in the past as my church dies. Great thoughts! Thanks for this.

  2. Chuck, what a good word! I spoke at one of our churches today that is a groundhog church. Really sweet lovely people people living the same day over and over again. My prayer is that as these churches close their doors, they will know how to Celebrate their past successes and then allow church launches to move in with vibrant ministries. Thank you for dooing youe past to make that happen. I would love to put you in touch with a friend of mine, Paul Thomeer, who closed a church down the right way. Awesome!! He should do seminars.

  3. Sorry for the typos. I don’t drink, but maybe I should start

    Should have read . . .Thanks for doing your best to make that happen (helping churches end well).

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