I’ve heard many people cite Nehemiah 2:5-6 as an example of having to construct a well-thought plan in advance and even give a definite time. However, if you read through the entire Nehemiah, you’ll find that the wall building project is instead a perfect example of agile project managements principles applied to Christian ministry. What Nehemiah 2:5-6 describes is merely an overall mission of the wall-building project and not a detailed plan. As a leader, Nehemiah cared more about the people than the work itself. The people “own” the work and engage in self-organization (2:17-18, 3:1-32). Nehemiah also had to improvise (leaders who are good at adapting to change must be prepared to improvise) when faced with hurdles, such as having the people prepare to ward off enemies with weapons (4:11-23). Not only is Nehemiah tuned to God’s heart about His new purposes and directions (such as 7:5), he also allowed the people to discover and declare God’s purposes and then put them into action (8:13-17).
For a modern-day example, I would like to invite you to visit Alan Yu’s blog post containing an audio of a vision casting event for the AFC Vancouver ministry (加拿大基督使者協會) at: http://readingreport.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_06.html. After listening to the audio, I’m impressed at how the whole organization together sought God’s heart about where their ministry is going. And they made it a point NOT to plan the events of 2009, but just be totally reliant on God to provide His purposes and directions.
I hope you like this series on Deconstructing Church Ministry. It’s been fun writing about this and hearing your feedback and discussions. Next week I’ll write about something entirely different.
|Deconstructing Church Ministry (1): Lessons From Agile SW Development
Deconstructing Church Ministry (2): Corporate Discernment
Deconstructing Church Ministry (3): Prepared For Change
Deconstructing Church Ministry (4): Examples