• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Any Project Needs Some Structure

While recently sharing with leaders in one of our ministry locations, I invited them to quickly read one of two texts: Joshua 1-3 or Nehemiah 1-2.  I then asked them to discuss a series of questions, one of those being: What was the leader’s priority in this situation?  And how did they work that priority?

The discussion that ensued showed the relevance of these texts to our ministry today as cross cultural workers.structure

Among the many thoughts that were shared was the need to bring some structure, organization or order to the overwhelming project that these leaders and their teams faced. Now I don’t imagine that Nehemiah or Joshua edited some Excel spreadsheets or Microsoft Project documents to better direct the work ahead of them.  However, delegated work and shared ministry occur best in a context where there is a focus on the goal to which the team is directed.

That ‘order’ or loose knit structure seems to be part of the church we read about in such texts as Ephesians 4: “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks David for these comments. Patrick Johnstone’s book “The Church is Bigger Than You Think” really opened my eyes to the importance of structure for the church. All living things have structure and we see the development of structure in the church progressing through the book of Acts. Johnstone pointed out, if my memory serves, that Protestant missions efforts existed prior to William Carey, but they were occasional and individual. What Carey accomplished was to put an organized structure to the dynamic movement of the Holy Spirit who sends workers and the result was a massive movement in foreign missions. Structure must serve the mission or it is just an empty shell. There’s our challenge.

    • Thanks Sean for directing us to Johnstone’s book. Forgot about that good reference. The balance is to have a structure that brings some order, organization and direction while at the same time remaining open and flexible to the Spirit’s direction and change.

  2. Agree heartily.

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