Christian Leadership and Planning

The question may come up about planning for the Christian leader. I think you'll answer this question depending on your denominational slant. If you are from a more conservative background, you'll probably think that planning is practically paramount. On the other hand, someone from a Charismatic background might think that planning stifles the Holy Ghost's activity. I am going to base my thoughts today on two passages from the Old Testament. They are:

Exodus 4-6
Joshua 1

I think it's pretty clear that in Joshua, planning is described as biblical. That much I won't argue. Now, he was planning as a man who was about to conquer a country, so one might argue that he had no choice but to plan. No one goes into a war without some sort of plan, especially an offensive. It is also important to note that God had a pretty extensive part to play in this section. Planning is certainly not a waste of time, though it could be argued that it can stunt the Holy Spirit's work if one is not careful.

What is a waste of time is suggesting that planning for ministry is the same is planning for the physical world. This is the issue with the Joshua passage. Joshua 1-3 is the beginning of an offensive military campaign. Of the first two planning moves, his first is to make sure the tribes that already have land are prepared to march with the rest of the country. Secondly, he sends spies into Jericho. It is military strategy, not ministry, so the planning isn't the same. It is my personal belief that a lot of ministry planning, particularly in Baptist circles, stifles the Holy Ghost.

My point is made by the Exodus passage. We see a lot of God's planning, all of which is to bring Glory to His Name. Very little of it is to make Israel a great nation. So we see planning for sure. Does this really equal biblical planning on the spectrum that we as Christian leaders should take part in? Maybe not. God's ways are not our ways, so seeing God plan doesn't mean we are see our need to plan, so while I'm not absolutely convinced that it's a waste of time, our scripture passages certainly raise the question.

Moses doesn't plan all that much. In fact, he is more attempting to derail God's plan than plan himself. Exodus shows us a little bit about God's plan. Is this the sort of planning that we should be involved in? It’s hard to tell. God doesn't tell Moses to plan, nor does he tell Moses to tell Aaron to plan. It could be argued that there is a biblical model of planning, but that it’s not ours.

1 comment:

boilt frog said...

Are you arguing for or against planning? Yes and no. Your post is ambiguous. Paul planned, e.g., Rom. 15:22-33. I think it is a false dichotomy to say ministry is different than military. See the military metaphors in the NT. The conquest of the land was primarily a spiritual battle. It was God against the idols. What is wrong is the sin of presumption. See James 4:13-17. Paul specifically precludes this in the Romans passage.

What is implied in the Ex. passage is that God is preparing His people to leave. By using Pharaoh to make their lives miserable, the people would leave with alacrity. The Passover meal was an act of planning. Moses must of planned his trip back to Egypt. No one crosses that much distance with a plan.

It does not stifle the Holy Spirit when we plan. Nor does it free Him if we don't plan. Consider the discipline upon the Corinthian church because of their disorder 1Cor. 11:17-34.

I have read with you. I plan, D.V., to do so again tomorrow.