A couple of weeks ago our directors went on a retreat together to DBA’s beautiful Mt. Lebanon Encampment. Often these are times when we have much important work to knock out. But this time we had much more time to talk about big pictures and directions that we sense God leading.
Bob and Bobby had attended our new coaching training where they were encouraged to help their church (in our case, association) narrow down a focus from many things to one or two key directions. “God Directed Outcomes,” they are called.
This gave us an opportunity to practice what we’ve been trying to do here more and more—“decompartmentalizing” our "spiritual" faith and our active "real-life".
In the "church world," and especially in church planting literature, it is easy to find lists, goals, how-to’s, and seven steps to this-or-that.
Often organizations and leaders default to planning and taking action. Even Christian groups usually plan then act—though we may ask God’s blessing on our plan at the end.
Don’t we think that God already has a plan? Should we not be doing more waiting on the Lord, and then moving more quickly in active obedience when He does make His direction known? Jesus’s example shows that this is far from a lazy, passive direction. Just check out here the number of times He mentions that this is how even He lived His time on earth.
Admittedly, this takes some time and practice to figure out even as individual followers of Jesus and His Spirit. So seeking to hear and obey as a group—and especially as a paid, working staff—is an even greater adventure. But it's one we believe is right and worth any preliminary uncertainty.
One practical way we are already seeking to follow God in this manner is our consistent prayer that God send workers already equipped for their mission into the harvest. (See the earlier blog entry, God's Plant(er) is Better than Mine! for more about this.)
So what are we doing? What were the "God Directed Outcomes"?
- As a staff, learn to corporately practice (and model for our churches) the centrality of the Spirit’s guidance and empowerment in everything that we say, do or promote.
- Respond fully as we are expectant that God will raise up (or prompt us to begin) important relationships with new, uninvolved or under-involved pastors, leaders, and churches.
Stay tuned as we—under the grace-filled guidance of God—head these directions together as a staff and with our churches!