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Strategic thinking and the church

December 3, 2009

I have recently been in several conversations and read several things about getting to the root, communicating well, and not using Christianese. If you don’t know what Christianese is I would define it as using culturally specific terms to describe and communicate about Christianity. There are many words that we use within Christianity which are not used outside of these groups. Even within Christianity the same term may not mean the same thing to different people. For example: prayer. When I say I pray what image comes to your mind. If I told you I was a Catholic, an evangelical, or a pentecostal does your image of how I pray change?

If we speak Christianese how can we communicate to others who don’t understand it? How do you help a non-Christian understand communion, worship, prayer, and the concept that the Bible is a living Word?

This morning I was reading in a book about strategic thinking. It left me wondering how the church could be different if we used strategic thinking. The book said that we typically think of organizations in terms of what we do. That is what we communicate to others. What if we changed and thought of our organization in terms of where the value is hiding or what we could be doing instead? For a church the value should be in the people, but we have to know them and their stories to really understand their value. I have never heard of a church that really comes to know the skills/gifts of its people and then uses those skills to further their ministry and outreach.

I have been thinking about ministry, outreach, discipleship, and community a lot lately. Our new church will be starting meetings in a few weeks and there are parts of the model that could be different than any church I have known about if we stick to our mission and work to have strategic thinking. The thing I never want to lose site of in my thinking is that all I do needs to reference back to Christ and the purpose I am here for. If my thinking whether at home, work, or in ministry doesn’t refer back to Christ and his ministry, mission, and methods then I am missing the most important and powerful point. I am working to recognize the Christianese I speak so I can learn how to share with those who are not a part of my culture of Christianity. I want my mission to be one of discipleship, and multiplication so I need to learn to meet people where they are at instead of asking them to come to me. It is such an exciting time!

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