Sunday, May 20, 2007

Planning Ahead

My brother John and his wife Tanya arrived last night with their children, it’s really great to have them here.

I was sitting talking to John last night we were talking about 10 year plans! and just wondering if such a thing ever existed within the early church? I understand the need to plan and the need for structure and forward thinking, but I wonder sometimes about the management stuff that creeps into the life of church, it’s helpful and well intended, but I get scared that the Holy Spirit gets programmed out by over planning.

Leaders will tell you that they are flexible, I always thought I was, but there is something about planning and getting stuck into something that can cause you to get your head down and forget about God. All along telling yourself that God is in the planning. Rather than just loving people and developing relationships with your leaders, you want to set them targets, or better still they need to set their own targets this can lead to people feeling stressed because they are not hitting their targets or reaching their goals. Can you see what I mean, there is a tension, because I don’t disagree with targets and goals, there is just something that makes me feel a little uneasy about them but at the same time I know they are necessary!

I have a friend who does executive coaching etc, he once said to me that “Abraham did business and went to war, but first and foremost he was the head of a family” I think that a lot of the books I read and leadership stuff I hear can treat the church like an army or a business, which is okay, but often it forgets that first and foremost we are a family.

Maybe that’s what disturbs me, that we manage to kill the family vibe by over managing. You can plan for a baby but unless you are really lucky it won’t happen exactly at the right time, you can want the child but not guarantee it’s sex or how it will develop. On the other hand you can plan a family holiday, but even then you can’t plan what the weather will be like.

I don’t know? there is probably further to go on this…..


Mark (the Guern) said...

Hope the piles are easing: i have a prescription ointment for mine!

I have Eugene Peterson's little book God's message for each day - for too busy fools like me - on May 18 (Roms 4:18 msg) he talks abour Abe having no "arrows painted in the wilderness" and then says: "Did Abe have a 20 year plan with carefully defined objectives....No, there were delays, interruptions, detours, failures. He didn't do it all correctly - didn't live without doubt, sin, or despair - but he did it. He followed, confessed, prayed, believed. God was alive for him. God was the centre for him".

That encouraged, challenged me in my messed up state - and i thought it fitted in with your blog.

Brian Francis Hume said...

Brian – speaking of planning for a baby, Aneta and I just announced that she is pregnant with our first! Yay!!! The due date is November 26. As you can imagine we are definitely in the midst of planning right now for the future, but there are still things that we can’t plan for at this moment. This would include the gender issue which won’t be known until July.

My dad is a successful founder and CEO of a growing corporation (125+ employees/sub-contractors), has a saying he is quite fond of: “Plan the work and work the plan.” In the world of accelerating change and complexity, we must learn to “work the plan” as we seek to fulfill the vision that God has birthed in our hearts. The plan itself is always a work in progress…kind of like us!