Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Buffy Paradigm and Missional Strategy


Often, one of the best ways to short-hand a concept and make it widely understandable is to tap into the popular culture. A couple weeks after 9-11 the Center for Strategic and International Studies released a homeland defense document for biological warfare preparedness entitled: “Biological Warfare and the ‘Buffy Paradigm’.”

That’s right; our country’s defense is in the hands of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans.

Really, though, it is a great concept and it applies to more than just homeland defense; perhaps even to things like church planting and Missional efforts.

To understand the Buffy Paradigm, it might be helpful to think of shows like Highlander or The A Team. In those shows, week after week the heroes would face a similar threat and deal with it in much the same way. You could predict McCloud’s final sword fight or the B.A. Baracus construction montage with a stop-watch. It was TV at its formulaic best.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was completely different. Every week the heroes would face a new threat and they would never know what they were up against or how to deal with it. Each episode they would have to learn about the problem and discover a new way to overcome it.

That is what our country faces in the post 9-11 world. We never know where the danger is coming from or how it will manifest. We have to anticipate and be ready for anything.

Missional work is really like that as well. Every culture or group of people need the Gospel communicated to them in a unique way and will respond to that message with a different cultural take on church. Every church plant is a new set of variables and personalities that has to be dealt with in a spiritually sensitive, follow-God’s-leadership way.

So why do we always try to duplicate other’s or even our own successes over and over again? Why do we think we live in an A Team world?

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