Strategies of Development of Disciples, Leaders and New Churches
Religious pluralism states that all religions and church models are valid. It means that religious pluralism defines all religions and churches as equal, valuable and worthy. It also shows respect to all religions of the world and supports their right on the existence. The ideas of religious pluralism should develop as it incites people of all religions to love and respect religious views of each other. Religious pluralism will benefit the friendly relationships people of different religions. However, there is another religion opinion that is opposite to religious pluralism and that is tolerance. It means that every church has the right on the existence and can be supported by the community .
Development of disciples, leaders and new churches presupposes a process of developing a strategic plan. A strategic plan helps define the peculiarities of church model and priorities of its ministry philosophy. Developing a strategic plan includes scenario planning, buffering and work breakdown structure. One can distinguish four church models: traditional, attractional, organic and hybrid. It is necessary to say that each model has its advantages and disadvantages, similarities and differences. A philosophy of ministry is broad in its character as it presupposes understanding of doctrine, church leadership, outreach, church leadership, men's and women's roles in the church and corporate worship.
The main objectives of current essay are to reveal a process of developing s strategic plan, describe the traditional, attractional, organic and hybrid church models, show the philosophy of ministry and define the church model that develops new churches, leaders and disciples.
A Process of Developing a Strategic Plan
A strategic plan plays a crucial role especially when it the changes have to occur, developing new models and implementation of processes. Strategic planning proves efficiency of leaders and good management. Moreover, it should include the main objectives, tasks and predictions of the consequences. Short-term planning is more productive as it allows controlling driving and restraining forces .
Developing a strategic plan is essential for a changing environment that presupposes many risks and hazards. If speaking about stability, long-term strategic planning can be efficient and successful. As a result, it is important to develop a strategic plan that is more updated, monitored and reviewed. This process demands time, strategic decisions, well-composed objectives and priorities. Besides, one should include also detailed description of responsibilities, methods and tasks.
A process of developing a strategic plan is the project that requires careful preparation and organization. It demands organizational skills, strategic thinking and creativity. This project demands patience, time and devotion. For a process of developing a strategic plan, the following techniques will be appropriate:
- Scenario planning. It is a powerful technique that will benefit a good organization by providing a strategic plan. Scenario planning helps predicts possible situations and consequences.
- Buffering. Such technique requires using of extra time and costs. It is necessary for planning a process as it is impossible to organize a project with minimal expenses of money and time.
- Work breakdown structure. Such technique allows structuring the organization of work into small parts and defining top strategies of planning.
The strategic planning process demands precise objectives, careful analysis, strategy implementation, evaluation and control. Strategic objectives will be the basement for successful realization of any project. Analysis of the strategic objectives of the project will help find out all its strengths and weaknesses. Strategy implementation is the realization of all ideas and stages of the process. Evaluation will help analyze what has been done and what to do. Control is the final stage of the project realization.
In order to create prioritization matrix that is necessary for a successful project, it is important to use such criteria as determination of the factors that will benefit the project by means of establishing criteria weight, creating matrix, working and discussing the results. The most important components of this project are defining priorities and achieving the desired results. Strategic planning presupposes answering such questions as what and how. Moreover, one should have a vision that will help determine priorities, operations and procedures.
One can distinguish different steps and models for the process of strategic planning. The first stage demands agreement on strategic processes. This stage deals with providing an understanding of the strategic planning vision, discussing potential value of its main points and determining the costs necessary for the implementation of operations. Strategic planning activities serve as driving forces when they are flexible, consecutive and dynamic. Strategic planning activities may become potential barriers when they are static, not logic and are deprived of a real meaning and look like utopia rather than reality .
The potential barriers to strategic planning are connected with organizational and operational functions. Another barrier to marketing planning is lack of necessary knowledge for composing of an efficient plan. As a result, it is important to involve in marketing planning the most qualified and skillful employees. Planning is necessary for fulfilling of main priorities and goals. Future perspective, determination of their actions and decision-making should be involved while composing a strategic plan.
Decision-making is also an important aspect of strategic planning especially when it deals with problem solution and taking risks. However, it is not an easy task as there can be contradictions between managers in finding compromises while setting priorities for the future. Decision-making is the process that assesses occupations, gathers information and sets goals by making choices. Decision-making process demands strategic thinking and negotiating abilities and that is why negotiation and decision-making processes are interrelated and interdependent. Negotiation process is the way of reaching an agreement and compromise avoiding dispute and argument. Negotiation process influences the result of decision-making.
The Traditional, Attractional, Organic and Hybrid Church Models
Speaking about the traditional, attractional, organic and hybrid church models, it is necessary to say that each of them has its own peculiar features. The traditional church model is led by a single pastor, congregation or deacon. The church of the traditional model operates in the specially appointed building and has a simple structure. Its evangelistic mission is soul winning. Moreover, the traditional church model presupposes foreign mission board. Its main goal concerns faithfulness.
The traditional church model is resistant to changes and innovation that forms its disadvantage. The spiritual connection of this model is based on the slogan: "If happens... happens at church". The advantage of this model is that it is against gifts, and it means that it has no merchant objectives. Preaching is done during the congregation. Survival and maintenance drive the traditional church .
The disadvantage of such model is that there is no training at all compared to the attractional, organic and hybrid models. Another disadvantage of the traditional model is that the budget of the church is solely possessed by the preacher. One conducts worship on Sunday morning in the church. Leadership philosophy of the traditional approach is based on co-dependent leader. The role of a co-dependent leader is to minister to and for people. There is no a developed leader and a preacher is a pastor of this church model, while the staff for the traditional model is limited.
The attractional approach differs from the traditional one, and the main role here belongs to the single elder. The attractional church model, as well as the traditional one, presupposes worship in the church. This model differs from a previous one as it is more complex. The main evangelistic principles of the attractional approach are "Invest and Invite" and "Come and See". Learning in this kind of church model is classes-curriculum driven. Church planning presupposes adding campuses and satellites. Missions of the attractional approach have a broader character than that of the traditional model and they may be local and international. Another difference of this church model is connected with a change attitude. It is evident that any changes are accepted by evangelism. Spiritual formation of the attractional model is to encourage an attender to become a self-feeder. If for traditional church model gifts are not needed, for attractional model they are necessary .
Preaching is addressed towards the seeker, and the driving force of this model is evangelism. The disadvantage of such approach is that it is selfish due to the desire to meet personal needs. Budget of the model is appointed for supporting the property, buildings and staff. The attractional approach is similar to the traditional one as worships are also held on Sundays.
The organic church model differs from two previous, as the main role here belongs to the multiple elders. It is as simple in its structure as a traditional church model. Missions have wider character as they are international, national and local and every person should fulfill his/her role in the mission. Trainings are obligatory here as they intend to lead the missional groups. It is necessary to mention that the organic church model presupposes staff employment. Moreover, mission receives its leader and disciples.
Leadership develops the people and uncovers their full potential. The organic church model is similar to the attractional approach as it presupposes constant changes due to missional living. However, it differs from the previous church models as all kinds of gifts are necessary here. Preaching is done for the believer, and the driving force of this church model is mission or discipleship. The budged is spent on the mission and its demands. There is not a specific day for worship as it is done through the people in the community.
Hybrid church model is characterized by the presence of a single elder with deacons or elder board. Comparing with other church models like organic, attractional and traditional, it is extremely complex. If speaking about change attitude, it is more similar to the attractional and organic models, as change is tolerated here but not well-received.
Activity is a main indicator of church success. The budget is aimed at the mission development and supporting the staff, property and building. Worship is conducted on Sunday morning and through the people in the community. The main objective of leadership philosophy is to understand leadership and manage a complex organization. It is evident that all church models are good in its own way, but they differ in their missions, attitudes to changes and leadership philosophy .
Philosophy of Ministry
A philosophy of ministry is essential for any church and that is why it provokes many debates and can be a subject for articulating and considering. A philosophy of ministry is broad in its character as it presupposes understanding of doctrine, church leadership, outreach, church leadership, men's and women's roles in the church and corporate worship. At first, a philosophy of ministry deals with issues biblically and only after that implements them into practice.
The main statements of a ministry philosophy are how God is glorified in the corporate worship, reading and the preaching the Scriptures, singing and playing music. A philosophy of ministry deals with the role of praise and prayer in worship. Moreover, it regards the differences of glorifying of God by men and women. Not less important issue is biblical leadership that is essential and contradictory at the same time .
According to the philosophy of ministry God should be glorified in worships as He saved us. Corporate worship expresses His words and, as a result, people pronounce them very often through praying. Preaching and reading of the Scriptures is another way of glorifying God. The philosophy of ministry considers Bible a central religious reading that reveals God's world. Both the Old Testament and New Testament inspire people to believe, pray and glorify God. Another way of glorifying is through music and singing. Religious singing is more elevated and lyrical way of praying. It is necessary to mention that any music can be chosen but words of songs are taken from the Bible. Praise and prayer are also considered to be important parts of worship .
The philosophy of ministry states that roles of men and women in the church are equal, and it means that there should be not any discrimination as before God men and women are equal. However, there are differences in their roles within a church. According to the philosophy, men were created to pray and women were created to learn in silence and submit. In the church roles of men and women are clear, they glorify God and that is why they are blessed by His love. Biblical leadership is another question of the ministry philosophy that should be analyzed. Its role is essential for health and growth of Christ's church and the Scriptures reveal God's plans and priorities.
The key priorities of the ministry philosophy are understanding of organizational and cultural alignments, developing of church purpose, values and beliefs, adopting team and structure philosophy, developing leadership approach, members' expectations, discipleship and church strategies and priorities.
One can say that the philosophy of ministry is based on six main principles: depth over breadth, Jesus is the principal, interconnection between God's Kindom and Babel's Tower, main beliefs and understanding of the Holy Spirit as non-pragmatic and non-incarnational ministry. It is necessary to mention that every church model presupposes its philosophy of ministry .
The Organic Church Model as a Way of the Development of Disciples, Leaders and New Churches
The organic church model is the best way of the development of disciples, leaders and new churches. The organic church model differs from traditional and attractional models, as the main role here belongs to the multiple elders. The existence of multiple elders proves that the church structure is simple approaching to the structure of a traditional church model. It is evident that such church model provides biblical leadership in the best way giving a birth to new churches, leaders and disciples. Incarnational lived out in the community is a church location. Missions have wider character as they are international, national and local. It means that the organic churches collaborate between each other creating more opportunities for the development than other church models. Simple structure makes this church operate more efficiently and save budget.
The organic church model serves best for development of disciples because this model is more modern and every person can fulfill his/her role in the mission. It means that this kind of church presupposed development, learning and training. Training is obligatory here as they intend to lead the missional groups. As a result, leading the missional groups is a way to the development of new leaders. One can distinguish here relational missional groups which spread evangelism.
It is necessary to mention that the organic church model presupposes staff employment, and it is also an indicator of leadership development. Discipleship mainly deals with learning and mentoring small groups.
To state that other church models are intolerant, incorrect and disrespectful is wrong. Every church model has its strong and weak sides. It is evident that if a person does not respect the church of others, he or she does not respect his own church. It is intolerant to think that churches can provoke contradictions. Intolerance to any church is condemned. However, there are people who state that religious contradictions are necessary for foundation of tolerance. Tolerance should be based on love and respect of one's own religion and other world churches. Such qualities are important for church leaders and disciples . Religious tolerance is respectful attitude of people of one church to other. To be tolerant does not mean to accept and follow the traditions of other churches or to impose one's church to other people. Moreover, to tolerate the views of other church models does not mean to believe in them. Tolerance means respectful treating of other churches and their followers. Tolerance allows disagreeing but demands respect.
Leadership develops people and tries to reveal their full potential. Due to it, the organic churches' leaders operate in small groups. The organic church model is similar with the attractional approach as it presupposes constant changes due to missional living. It is necessary to admit that changes are the driving forces for the development of leadership, new churches and disciples. It means that the organic church model acts as a basis for the implementation of other churches in the community. The organic church model appreciates all kinds of gifts. Preaching is done for the believers, and the driving force of this church model is mission or discipleship. The budged is used for needs of the mission. A specific day for worship is not fixed as it is done through the people belonging to the community.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that there are different strategies of development of disciples, leaders and new church models. First of all, one can use a process of developing a strategic plan. A process of developing a strategic plan is the project that requires careful preparation and organization. It demands organizational skills, strategic thinking and creativity. Secondly, the traditional, attractional, organic and hybrid church models can act as a basis for development of church leaders and disciples. The advantage of traditional church model is that it is resistant to changes and innovations. The attractional model presupposes worship in the church. Such model differs from the other ones as it is more complex. The organic church model is based on the missional living, which makes it similar to the attractional approach. However, it differs from the previous church models regarding the fact that it accepts all kinds of gifts. A single elder with elder board or deacons is a peculiar feature of a hybrid church model.