In any event, I needed to start over.
All of that to say that I liked what I wrote, even though I have to delete it. So before I do, here are three paragraphs I will now delete from a paper I will never write. Enjoy these deleted scenes from my brain, perhaps some day to be re-released in a special edition format of my life (and then somehow later to have Hayden Christensen awkwardly inserted into).
What is a church supposed to be – a business or a family? Should it run like clockwork or should it be allowed to run free? Was Jesus concerned about strategy or do we just read into his ministry looking for something intelligent to say at the next leadership conference we attend? Was Jesus just about relationships or is that a cop out we use for not taking the time to grow in competence?
This article addresses these questions by exploring the Strategic Management or Planning process. Strategy is cited as having three distinct stages: formation, implementation, and evaluation. Each has its linear place, although constant glimpses of each need to occur within each of the stages themselves. In this manner, Formation will have elements of formation, implementation, and evaluation in itself, and so on.
Internally speaking, a church needs to know its own unique strand of DNA in order to be who it is and not get distracted by what it is not. Inherent to this struggle is a perception many people have regarding what a “church” actually is from their own experiences without every truly stoking a fire of prayerful investigation that allows for these things to boil to the surface. This concept of “core competencies” is a label that many in the marketplace are familiar with but few in the church world are. In short, it is figuring out what is “in short.” The end result is a t-shirt sized list that memorably sums up that which is valuable, rare, costly to imitate, and non-substitutable so that counterfeiting becomes impossible - not only externally, but first and foremost internally.