Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lean Missions

NonModern is not a fan of treating Church and ministry as a business, but there are business principles that can help inform the way ministry is done.

BBC did a story today on how “Lean Manufacturing” has infiltrated and hurt the service industry. Lean Manufacturing is basically a concept Toyota came up with trying to rid itself of any waste in production, and in so doing, reduce costs. In the service industry, such as in sales, it has meant firing full-time employees and instead using cheap, inexperienced, untrained employees only during times of peak business. In so doing, the service industry has lost expertise, customer service, and customer loyalty.

Think for a minute about the trends one sees in missions today. There is a real shift away from career personnel towards short term or volunteer people. The idea is: All Christians should witness. Missions is basically witnessing. Why invest in getting people to spend their entire careers on the field when it is easier and cheaper to use short-term personnel?

It is true that there are tremendous benefits to having ever more Christians experience cross-cultural evangelization first hand, and short timers are needed. However, abandoning the expertise and cultural investment of career missionaries is done at a tremendous cost. Evangelization success is directly proportional to cultural closeness. That is to say, people respond most to the Gospel that is presented in their own context. Missions requires more than just some canned presentation of the Gospel. Missions involves incarnational witnessing.

How much language learning and cultural adaptation is a person willing to do, if they are only going to live in a culture for two years? The fact is two years is only enough scratch the surface of most cultures. By the time short-timers are leaving they are often really just getting started.

No comments:

Post a Comment

NonModernBlog written content is the copyrighted property of Jason Dietz. Header photos and photos in posts where indicated are the copyrighted property of Jason and Cheryl Dietz.
Promotional photos such as screenshots or posters and links to the trailers of reviewed content are the property of the companies that produced the original content and no copyright infringement is intended.
It is believed that the use of a limited number of such material for critical commentary and discussion qualifies as fair use under copyright law.

  © Blogger template Brownium by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP