14 January 2012

Thailand - Third Wave 2012 [Workshop: Strategy to Conquer a City]

I am sharing with you from my notes from this workshop, presented by Alex Fonseca, at Third Wave.

This was presented by a pastor in a church of thousands of people, so at first I felt like it was just a little over my head. But as I listened, I was still able to mentally apply the situations, examples and advice to my own situations.
The speaker had four points. He said that to have a good strategy, it is required of you to:
  1. Know the city
  2. Understand the people
  3. Love the place
  4. Focus
Firstly, to know the city, he asked a lot of questions – what is the population? What kind of jobs are there? Where are the universities, schools, hospitals, police stations, churches? Are there any homeless shelters? He said to know who the leaders of the town are, and to pray for them. The more we know about where we are serving, the better we can serve.

Next, he asked questions about the people – what are they like? What are their tastes? Where do they holiday? What kind of food do they eat and what is their clothing style? How do they speak? He also spoke about different “tribal groups”. By this, he was talking about inner youth culture; people who hang together – you can often tell these by clothing and language, for example. What also often defines a tribe can be:
  • Principles they have
  • Purpose they share
  • Relationships they hold dear
  • Combined lifestyle
  • Philosophy
And only when I know what kinds of people I am serving, will I be able to effectively and strategically serve them.

Thirdly, the speaker suggested that if we don’t love the place, perhaps we shouldn’t be there. When we love the place, we will:
  • Be willing to die there
  • Organize parties
  • Facilitate care ministries
“Parties” aren’t necessarily parties – these are camps; social times; things within the church – they are things that empower the next thing: outreach.
Care ministry is:
  • Service
  • Compassion
  • Evangelism
  • Mission
So often we organize from start to end – we are so organized, that we have no room for care. This is unhealthy.
The speaker shared an example about this. He wanted to go out one weekend, to do some clean-up at the local basketball courts – simply wanting to sweep the courts and the surrounding footpaths. Sounds easy, right?
Well, he said that when he suggested this simple outreach, he came across a lot of barriers – people asking questions.
“How many people will be helping?”
“Do we have insurance for them?”
“Where are you buying the brooms from?”
“What brand of broom are you buying?”
“What colour are they?”
“Where are you getting the funds from?”
“Do you have a council permit?”
He may have exaggerated a little with these examples, but you get the point!
So often, we have people criticizing; being negative; asking questions. He suggested to take the good advice and consider the opinions, but if it is going to hinder service and care, to leave it behind.

Finally, he talked about the importance of focusing.
We need to focus on who we are serving and why we are serving. He said you will never succeed if you only desire to become famous or big.
To finish the workshop, he gave three points that are so very simple – and I want to be able to implement these in my ministry!

  • Accept challenges
  • Take steps
  • Give it all you have
I think many of these points can be applicable in anyone's life - workplace, leadership, and even in family life.
I hope that you may be able to take something useful from this :-)

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