7 : Characteristics of the Strategic Plan

 

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  1. The purpose of the Plan is to reclaim all aspects of society in the state of Massachusetts, to penetrate the entire culture in this state, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5) All sectors of the life of this state must systematically be infused with the principles and values of the Christian worldview.

  2. Some sectors of the Church may have to refine their eschatology. Jesus is indeed coming soon, but rather than allow the culture to plunge unimpeded into a state of total spiritual degeneracy, the Church in this nation is expected to undertake one last heroic, successful effort to usher in an unprecedented revival that will result in the conversion of millions of souls. The systemic preconditions for such a harvest must first be established by the concerted action of the Church. What is happening in Asia, Africa and Latin America must also happen in Europe and North America. Revival in the West will be different perhaps in that it will be accompanied by an organized penetration of all the systems of society, providing a model perhaps for the consolidation of evangelistic gains in the Third World.

  3. The Plan must flow along clear biblical paradigms. This will be the main source of its strength and effectiveness. Principles of spiritual authority and submission must be acknowledged and respected. A spiritual eldership in the region might perhaps be identified and commissioned. Unity of the Body must be sought and protected. A clear protocol for the conduct of relationships must be defined and adhered to. Fundamental theological beliefs must be identified as the non-negotiable basis for cooperation, while differences relating to style and cosmetics must be respected and celebrated. Prayer and worship will energize and lubricate every initiative undertaken by the Plan. Aspects of spiritual warfare must also be incorporated, with careful attention paid to considerations of balance, soberness and biblical appropriateness. Humility as a governing value must be actively cultivated, both in the conduct of the principal leaders as well as in the way that all participants in the Plan relate to each other, particularly as it refers to superficial differences of doctrine, congregational temperaments or worship styles. This will serve as a powerful, prophetic element to protect against the attacks of the enemy. The gifts of the Spirit must be cultivated, but not in such a way that it might alienate or intimidate those who do not feel comfortable with this aspect of Christian doctrine.

  4. As suggested before, there are individuals in this region whom God has anointed with a certain apostolic authority. They should perhaps be identified, brought together and constituted into a sort of regional spiritual eldership. They will not have absolute spiritual authority, but rather be sought for insight, prophetic wisdom, soberness, conflict resolution and spiritual modeling. They will remain accountable both to each other and to the Body. These individuals may be found both in the charismatic and evangelical world, as well as among Catholics.

  5. The unity, influence and participation of pastors across the region must be encouraged. They are the shepherds of God’s people, and undoubtedly He speaks to and through them. Pastors must be continually informed and brought together for fellowship, prayer and reflection. Regional and state meetings of pastors must be organized on a regular basis.

  6. It is to be hoped that in the future, as the Plan gains credibility, many gatherings that now take place all over the region to foster prayer and church unity will become unified under the auspices of this new initiative. Meeting under a common vision and operational philosophy will impart much more coherence and effectiveness to these gatherings. As churches begin to see themselves as also acting as the Church in Massachusetts, pursuing a specific long-term strategy, they will be able to pursue these gatherings with a greater sense of purpose and urgency.

  7. The activities of the Plan are in no way meant to substitute the normal life of each local congregation. Each individual church will continue to lead its normal congregational existence, with the added understanding that it will designate a small portion of its energies and finances toward the pursuit of a long term corporate regional strategy to evangelize and reclaim the state of Massachusetts for Jesus. Participation in the Plan will become one aspect of the missionary efforts of the participating churches.

  8. The plan will be financed and supported through diverse means, including funds from local churches, volunteer labor and support from Christian philanthropis. As the Strategic Plan gains credibility, participating churches and ministries might be encouraged to contribute one percent (1%) of their yearly budget toward its implementation. This will serve to finance numerous specific initiatives on a sophisticated, large-scale, high quality, long-term manner. The participation of Christian philanthropists should be sought and encouraged. Christian grant writers might be retained in order to approach appropriate philanthropic institutions or individuals with proposals regarding specific aspects of the Plan. Whenever possible, volunteer labor will be used. If some day a permanent office is established, a church location should be sought, preferably with donated space. This would emphasize the congregational foundations and nature of the Plan. In this respect, a cumbersome institutional apparatus must be avoided. A large permanent staff should not become a feature of the Plan. Neither should expensive physical facilities. Whenever possible, specific events and efforts sponsored by the Plan should rely on the energies of volunteers who donate their time and energies. The Plan should always be seen as a movement rather than an institution.

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