Go out and share your faith wherever people will have ya. Seems simple enough, so why do we need a plan?
That’s probably what we’ve been assuming at OAC Ministries for ages. But now I’m realizing why we DO need a plan…
A few months ago I summarized the state of OAC Australia in order to give the Aussie report at OAC International conference. I realized that due to staff retiring, some leaving to start families, and the imminent end of a business that funds our national admin dept. by next conference (2016) our organization could be diminished by half. Half the staff, half the finances, half the branches… which means less than half the outreach will get done!
Oh, we knew this was coming, but we never really knew what to do in a coherent way. None of us organizational leaders have been trained in leadership, we’re just doing it because there was no-one else. We were trained as evangelists, we wouldn’t know what an overall plan looks like. So we were just micro-reacting.
I have 2 people on the WA Committee, who are trained in leadership, and I recently admitted to them, “I dunno what to do!” They said, strategic plan. At the same time, OAC International said, “each branch should have a strategic plan in place by end of 2012.” So on Friday the WA planning begins.
And we’ve already been benefiting from thinking ahead about it.
First benefit is seeing how we fit in the bigger 5-fold ministry landscape. We do evangelism, a small part in the big APEPT picture. We need to be co-operating better with organizations that have Missionary, Prophetic, Pastoral, Teaching gifts. Synergy. If this rings a bell for you, contact me!
Second, I’m more focussed on our main ministry: multiple-presentation outreaches, in partnership with those who will continue the follow-up. I’d love to be doing more of those situations where I get to speak more than once to a group – camps, a series, community contact weeks, Core Stuff. These are by far the most effective in terms of bringing people to a point of decision about Jesus. And to do that in concert with a locals who continue the relationship, that’s the best!
From the locals’ standpoint, maybe they have been wondering “how do we say this?” and maybe need an outsider to voice the issues. Hearing it from a third party can reduce the danger to the relationship. Plus people tend to suspend prejudices when listening to an outsider.
Third, it is helping me see how each aspect of OAC reinforces the main outreach ministry. I really want supporters to see how they help make outreach happen (in fact I want them to be renamed “active members” of the work, not just supporters as if they are supporting our work. They are part of the work!) Let me show you where you fit:
So I’m already seeing more clearly where we have to improve (the red bits). And the strategic planning process hasn’t even started yet!
I’d value your prayers that we do a good job, and do it speedily. And that we find the human resources to put it all into practice. If you want to chat about how you can help this ministry to be more effective into the future, I’d love, love, love to hear from you! Right now, as part of the plan!