Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Logistics of Ministry

     I had a fascinating conversation last week with a man who went ashore at Normandy about a month after D-Day.  That was just a part of the story, though, of a young man getting whisked out of college into the service of his country.
     As amazing as every detail of the story was, I have to admit that one thing impressed me more than all the others.  As he spoke, I imagined the US ramping up for war.  The sheer number of people and supplies that had to be moved, dealt with, moved again, and so on was staggering.
     Having to deal with administrative things myself, I quickly thought of all the paperwork such a mobilization must have required!  I also marveled at how, according to his story, so many different people and industries worked together toward the ultimate goal, and apparently did so nearly seamlessly.
     Perhaps I was impressed with the logistics because earlier in the week I sat through (and I am NOT making this up) a meeting the purpose of which was to talk about how that particular group would be organized once we started having meetings.  A meeting about what to do at the meeting!  Worse yet, I don’t think we got anywhere in the course of the hour long meeting.
     The institutional church has become so bogged down in procedure and method we have too often and easily lost focus on what we are to be doing – reaching the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.
     I am convinced that the reason the US was able to mobilize for WWII so well was that we all had a common mission.  Everyone’s abilities and tasks were a part of the bigger task.  Each person did what he or she could do, and the combined effort was blessed.
     Would that the church would find her mission so urgent that we would focus on our mission rather than on the procedures or organizational structures supporting it.


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