Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Strategic Missional Principles: Intentional

Reading the last Strategic Missional Principle post, some may conclude that Spirit-led is really just Christian-ese for leaving things to chance. That is not the case, nor is it an appeal for not making decisions, plans or being active. In addition to yielding to the Spirit, Missional strategy needs to be intentional.

Practically speaking, intentional strategy is all about (a) asking lots of questions and (b) knowing what NOT to do.

Good strategists are like toddlers. They ask why a lot. Why should be the question we ask of everything we do. Why do we engage this city and not that one? Why do we choose this place to live as opposed to that other one? Why do we hang out with these people? Why do we not spend time with these other people? Why? Why? There needs to be reasons for everything we do. At times it may be as simple as a sense of Spirit leading, but on the big decisions that involve a long-term direction for strategy we need “better” answers. What I will do today at 9:00 AM may be spontaneous and Spirit-led, but it should also tie into the bigger picture of the long term plans and investments that have already been made. What I will do this year is a decision that has a lot more thought put into it.

This leads us to the second point mentioned above. Being intentional is often more about what we don’t do than what we do. It may be hard to say exactly what strategy plus circumstances will lead us to do one, five or ten years down the road. It is easier, and just as helpful to know the sorts of things that will not help us accomplish the task and avoid those things. This is where Missional Christianity often butts heads with traditional work. Because, more often than not, one thing that can be known is that Missional living will lead people to do less with established churches. If you are there every time the doors are open, you will have very little time to be out among people who actually need Jesus. Every hour spent in traditional church work is one hour that cannot be spent bringing Jesus to people who do not know Him.

If intentional tends to show us what not to spend our time doing, the next principle leads us to activity…

2 comments:

  1. I had a class during my masters with an author/church strategist who was an amazing guy and it was an amazing class. The name of one of the books we had to read was "Growth by accident, Death by Planning" He alluded too many of the points you bring up in the last two blogs. He addressed how we should go about ascertaining Gods will and how not to follow just the latest trends, rather how to assess our strategies and our demographics around us and be the most effective we can. Good stuff!

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  2. Here are a couple related posts I just saw from Missions Missunderstood that are great too.

    http://missionsmisunderstood.com/2010/03/09/cultural-exegesis/

    http://missionsmisunderstood.com/2010/03/10/beware-false-friends/

    ReplyDelete

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