Vision-Casting: Developing Your Methodology

12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013So, we’ve dug through scripture to determine our biblical foundation.  We’ve lined that up with the cultural and contextual teachings that drive our ministry.  We’ve laid a foundation and built walls to form our structure….now for the fun stuff! What do we do?  How does our ministry function in the world?

 

Jeremy Pace from Resurgence calls this our furniture.  He puts it like this:

Furniture should complement and enhance the function of a room. Likewise, yourmethods (the how to’s) should be based on your theology and philosophy and should fitwithin the boundaries set by them. Remember, furniture is only functional for so longbefore it wears out and either needs to be replaced or reupholstered. The reality is thathaving a solid foundation and a clearly defined framework allows you to be creative andnot limited to how you go about doing ministry

furniture

To begin “furnishing” your ministry, ask yourself these questions:

•Based on your theology and philosophy, what are the methods that you will use to
see the vision fulfilled?

•Does your current furniture fit in the new rooms? Do you have a toilet in the living
room or a bed in the bathroom?

•How does your philosophy of ministry look organizationally?

•Do you have the right positions in your organization?

•How does each ministry/program fit within the philosophy?

It’s important to remember that the methodology should not drive the ministry.  Your philosophy and your theological foundation drive the ministry.  Don’t become so attached to a “how-to” that you find yourself “remodeling the room because you like the couch.”

Chicago-modern-colorful-sofa-sets

 

 

Vision-Casting: Your Philosophy is Your Filter

12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013Last week we talked about building the framework, or more aptly, the foundation for your ministry.  We began (or continued) working through the questions that every ministry leader should ask as they begin the process of deciding how their ministry should function in the world.

The theological foundation upon which you build is extremely important to defining your over all goals and mission on the field.  It has been a lengthy and prayerful process for me to work through taking the better part of a month and lots of wise counsel and prayer from my spiritual mentors.  Take time to nail this first part down, before moving on,

Once you’ve determined the scriptural basis for your ministry, it’s time to begin building the grid work which will become the filter through which all opportunities and ideas should pass when making decisions: the philosophy. Jeremy Pace of Resurgence likens these to the walls of a home.

You begin with the load-bearing walls.  These are immovable, unchangeable within the structure (else the structure falls down). They are the primary grid which make up the shape and form of a home.  Ask yourself the question:

•What are the non-negotiable, prescribed truths of Scripture that set the boundaries?

The next step is to begin constructing the interior walls.  These determine what you are and are not about.  Ask yourself these questions:

•What biblical imperatives and indicatives does your church/ministry/organization need to explicitly articulate because they are overlooked?

•What biblical imperatives and indicatives does your church/ministry/organization practice faithfully (almost without thinking)?

•What biblical imperatives and indicatives does the culture and context of your church ignore or fight against? These you will want to make more explicit.

•What biblical imperatives and indicatives are paralleled within your culture and context but need to be connected? (These too you will want to make more explicit.)

These questions will begin to define the type of culture your ministry will subscribe to and thus become the filter for everything that you do.

snail crossing finish lineSo I am on to building these walls.  I said this before, but I think it bears repeating, this has not been a speedy process for me- although I must admit I thought I had already done most of this work.  What I have found is that as I dig, God opens up questions in my heart.  He opens up visions of something more in places and less in others and is awakening me to a renewed sense of purpose through my ministry.  I hope and pray that as you work through these questions with me, he does the same for you as well.

Vision Casting: Building the Theological Framework for Your Ministry

12.26.12_Celebrate_Success_and_Plan_for_2013I have been fasting and praying this first few weeks of January seeking God’s guidance and direction as I take the time to build out my philosophy of ministry.  It’s been three weeks and I am still working through the first (and most important) step.  I have sought the prayers and guidance of wise mentors in my network, and I have spent time searching scripture and asking hard questions and…


I am still not finished.

I thought I would share the questions I have been working through.  But first, a little refresher as to what we are doing here from Jeremy Pace at Resurgence:

Laying a theological foundation for your church, ministry, or organization can be a lengthy and difficult task (this is not an understatement!), but the reality is that you want your foundation to be firmly and accurately laid. Your desire is to glorify God with your ministry, and God is most glorified when we faithfully work from the foundation he has laid in Christ Jesus revealed in the Scripture. This assumes that you know the Scriptures well and have a proper way of understanding them.

 

•What is the theological foundation from which we build?•What is the primary biblical imperative (and surrounding indicative/s) for your 

church/ministry/organization?

•Are their multiple imperatives and indicatives? Where are they found in the
Scripture?

•Is there a single passage of Scripture that encompasses the main starting point for
your church/ministry/organization?

•How can you connect the contours of Scripture to outline the foundation in two to
three paragraphs?

As you work through these questions for your own ministry (or family…or self…every Christian should have a philosophy of ministry as we all should have a ministry of some sort), be attuned to the questions that these questions raise in your heart.  These questions have started me down a path of exploration with Jesus to really uncovering what He is doing through me.  Between this exercise and Donald Miller’s Storyline project, God is walking me through some deep questions.

I think this is gonna take a while.  🙂

snail crossing finish lineI would love to hear what questions and answers you come up with.  Will you share some with me?