Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Baptist Assembly, Anne Wilkinson Hayes and the Importance of Strategy

OK, my last word on the Assembly - can't believe I've got so caught up in this.  Just wanted to enter a slight qualification to the justifiable praise of Anne's W-H's sermon.  Let's be careful we don't give the impression that mission strategy is unimportant.  It's not all important.  It's not the most important.  But it does matter. 

Anne's prioritising of love and life-giving engagement with God and the flow of divine life is of course bang on the money.  However, please let's not leap onto the pendulum swing away from a misguided emphasis on strategy towards an unthinking, individualistic pietism.

Fact is the church is called to work towards a goal, to pursue a vision, to live in the light of the end, all of which implies the need for intelligent forward thinking.  Surely, to reflect on how best to serve people is strategic.  Surely, to seek the welfare of our communities, our country and our world demands some thoughtful planning.  If we want people to take note of the witness we bear, if we are serious about making disciples of all peoples then we have to ask how best to achieve these things.  To neglect this reality would be, well, unloving.

Now I'm not saying that Anne was proposing that we forswear all strategy but I do worry that her words were open to that misinterpretation.  Let's not hey?

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