An Interview with Catalyst’s Ellen Livingood
1. The first church missions strategy on your list is having no strategy at all. The majority of churches in the past just left strategy to others. Why should church leaders wrestle with trying to determine a missions strategy specific to their congregation? Click here to read “What’s Your Missions Strategy?”
It’s true that until fairly recently, churches haven’t thought very much about missions strategy because others made all of the strategy decisions. Churches merely responded to either their denomination’s appeals or individual missionaries’ requests for funds. There wasn’t opportunity for much more than that. Basically their strategy was predetermined.
But in the past three decades, the options have exploded. Churches now can do missions in a multitude of different ways. With choice comes responsibility and the necessity to choose wisely.
2. Seems like a “missions strategy” can be lofty ideas on a piece of paper that gets filed away and forgotten. Is hammering out a strategy really important?
Regardless of what a church may have drafted on paper, they live by some sort of strategy or the lack of it when making decisions. Most obviously, a church’s missions strategy determines where they invest funds. But it also determines the conversation they have with potential missionaries. It guides if and where they send short-term teams. It shapes how they define success. For instance, people often refer to certain churches as “missions minded.” What they mean by that statement is very much shaped by their missions strategy.
3. Is there an objective way to choose the right strategy for a church?
I’m more comfortable talking about how to identify what is a good fit for a church rather than talking about “right” vs. “wrong.” There are steps that can help churches identify what complements their overall church vision and strategy, and what will be most powerful for their congregation. They may choose to adopt a combination of a couple of strategies. We’ll talk about that in the webinar. Also, strategies often need to change over time. We’ll talk about that as well.
Sixteen:Fifteen and Catalyst Services
Blazing a Church Trail through the Missions Strategy Maze
FREE WEBINAR – November 7, 2013 – 12PM MT