It was a rather normal day at the office but one that would cause me to ponder not only what I do but how I do it. After 25 years in the ministry I’m moving toward a new perspective. One that doesn’t focus so much on “success” but rather “being strategic.” Here’s what got me thinking.
For seven months I was the Church2Church Missions Coordinator working with affected churches damaged by Hurricane Ike. My role was to partner those who wanted to help with the affected churches. A call came in one morning asking which affected churches could use a strong partner. The helping church wanted to invest in a ministry that was strategic to its community. With a prayer asking for God’s leadership, I began my work.
A director of missions was most helpful by sending the names of the three most damaged churches in his association. What caught my attention and stopped me dead in my tracks was his description of one church. His words were something like this, “This church is strategic in our association because if we lose it, no one else ministers to drug addicts, prostitutes, and the desperately poor.” He was honest in his description of the problems the church faced but it was those words, “This church is strategic” that caused me to ponder my own ministry.
My first thought was, “If my own church ceased to exist, would anyone notice?” My second thought was, “What’s the difference between being busy and being strategic in our ministries?” You see “strategic” means doing those things that gives you the advantage in reaching a desired end. As I spent time in evaluation, I had to admit that much of what I’ve been about in the past is “busy” but not necessarily strategic because we didn’t seem that much closer to the end toward which we were aiming.
Texas Hope 2010 is the challenge before us and we must fill these days with strategic action, not just busy activity. Praying for our state, caring for hungry people, and sharing the good news of Christ with over 23 million people by Resurrection Sunday 2010 is doable if we are strategic.
Let’s all take a minute to consider the difference between being “successful” and “being strategic.” Going forward my goal is one of strategic ministry.