I was lying prone in a dusty field, five-hundred yards from my target. My cheek rested on the stock of my M16A1, pulled tight into my shoulder. I exhaled slowly and squeezed the trigger. Five-hundred yards away, I watched the target drop then slide back up moments later with a white indicator showing that I had placed the shot well within the black silhouette. I breathed a sigh of relief before prepping my next shot on the target. My drill instructor stood a few feet behind me. He grunted, “Oorah, Recruit!”
Rifle qualification in the USMC is one of the basic requirements for becoming a Marine. I was nervous about this because, prior to joining the Corps, I had rarely fired a gun. Certainly, I had never shot for accuracy under the pressure of a pass or fail ultimatum. But I did pass and actually did pretty well. How can a guy go from rarely shooting a gun to excellent marksmanship? That is what USMC Boot Camp is all about, creating a process that will shape civilians into specialized fighting machines. This process is a matrix that produces the end result. There is a matrix that can help church leaders grow their ministry agility.
Previously we mentioned that two key components form the foundation of ministry agility: situational intelligence and operational clarity. Having extreme clarity of any given process and acting with wisdom based on the context is paramount. Think about a receiver in football. He starts in a formation with a plan to execute. Once the ball is hiked, he moves to execute the plan, but the defense adjusts, and the situation changes. The receiver must reflect on game film he has watched and, while that is critical, he must also be unequivocal on how the Quarterback will respond. He must be aware of the conditions of the field. He must be mindful of what down it is and the distance to get a first down or more. All of this happens in seconds. Again, this is not unlike how ministers must be agile in dealing with people and organizational issues.
To develop ministry agility, the following matrix is helpful:
Context of the situation
God’s Word on the subject
Response in truth and love
Continue with grace in prayer
While your response to every situation will not be immediate, by working through this matrix, you will be able to respond biblically and efficiently. Start with the context of the issue. Is there a history? If the challenge is with an individual, examine things from their perspective. Do everything you can to see the issue from all sides. Next, and most importantly, determine what God’s Word has to say about the subject. Getting clarity from the Word will equip you to deal with the issue properly. When you respond, do so with love and truth. We should never shy away from delivering God’s Word, but we should always do so with the love of Christ. Finally, once the biblical response has been made, proceed with grace and saturate the circumstance in prayer.We should never shy away from delivering God’s Word, but we should always do so with the love of Christ. Click To Tweet
Developing ministry agility isn’t just about dealing with problems. Every action we take in ministry, positive or negative, can benefit from using this matrix. As you develop your ministry agility you will be more effective working through the various issues you face each day