Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Strategic Missional Principles: Paradoxical

Most of the time, strategy or goal setting is results based or at least measurable. It is important to know what the strategy is intended to produce in order to be able to know if it is working or not. Missional strategy is problematic in this aspect, because its results are simply paradoxical.

In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul describes the Missional life—or as he calls it, the Ministry of Reconciliation—and the way he describes it makes it hard to measure in traditional ways.

First of all, there is the result that the Missional life has for the Christian: suffering. Namely, they have to endure afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, and disturbances, not to mention hard work, sleepless nights, and physical hardships.

Then there is the internal characteristics that the Christian engaged in a Missional life should display. These tend to go unmeasured in strategy as well. Perhaps is would be more important for a Missional Strategy to measure the life of its players more than the results produced. Paul lists purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, love, the Word of Truth, the power of God, and the Holy Spirit in this category.

Lastly, Paul speaks of the paradoxical results of this ministry. If you are looking for results that show success in some American business model then you are in the wrong occupation. On the one hand, living a Missional life will result in a certain reputation where you live. You will be seen as deceivers, unknown, and dying, you may be punished, sorrowful, poor and seen as having nothing that people want. On a spiritual level you will in fact be true, known by God, and alive. You will be rejoicing, making many people rich and possessing everything you need.

In short, it is not a simple task to measure the results of Missional Strategy. Plan accordingly.

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