8 : Societal Areas to be Addressed by the Plan

 

As previously stated, the Strategic Plan will seek to address major areas of society, seeking to influence these areas and leaven them with the values of the Kingdom. Some of the areas that we have identified so far are:

  • The Arts (music, drama, worship, dance, film, plastic arts, etc.)
  • Media (newspapers, television, radio the Web, magazines)
  • Governmental institutions (lawyers, the courts, the legislature, executive government at every level)
  • Financial sector – Existing efforts addressing the market place should be encouraged and reinforced; a strategy for evangelism of this sector should be identified and pursued. High quality events targeting this sector should be organized.
  • Evangelism - Perhaps one large, regional evangelistic event should be planned each year. Evangelistic resources at the national level should be identified and encouraged to come to Massachusetts. Churches might be trained and equipped to undertake evangelistic initiatives at the local level. Numerical targets might be established in faith for the State each year.
  • Youth Leadership – Youth at the high school and college level should be recruited and trained with a view to motivating them to adopt an aggressive outlook vis-à-vis the progress of the Kingdom in Massachusetts. They should be informed politically, and encouraged to become involved in governmental politics. They should be imbued with a clear, militant Christian worldview. Particular issues regarding gender and sexuality should be addressed from a biblical perspective. They should be provided with apologetic arguments that would enable them to defend their Christian moral and ethical beliefs. Partnership with such institutions as Intervarsity, Campus Crusade and other youth leadership programs in the state should be cultivated.
  • Church unity should be actively promoted. The development of a unified leadership structure, with leaders who have come to know and trust each other through repeated collaboration, should be pursued. Several events a year bringing the churches together at a State level should be organized, perhaps for prayer, worship and fellowship. They could also take place at the level of a particular geographic area.
  • Church renewal should be supported. Institutions like Vision New England are already doing extraordinary work in this area. This should be supported and perhaps complemented with additional efforts to ensure that an energized, Spirit empowered regional Church has the energy and the life to undertake an aggressive evangelistic agenda.
  • God is doing extraordinary things in university campuses all over Massachusetts (see recent Sunday Globe Magazine article). This energy should be cultivated and used for the realization of the Strategic Plan. Students are by nature idealistic and energetic. Existing leaders must be identified and encouraged to think along the goals and vision of the Plan. Events such as the Veritas effort at Harvard should be more widely disseminated. Other such events should perhaps be organized or encouraged. University students should be encouraged to dedicate their research and writing skills to develop written materials for the Plan, as well as staff and lead various initiatives. Some should perhaps be encouraged to give a year of their life to develop such areas of the Plan as media and the arts. Christian College professors and researchers such as Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, author of Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, should be identified and encouraged to explore ways of using their significant gifts in cooperation with the purposes of the Plan, perhaps as guest lecturers, writers or consultants.
  • Apologetics and Research should be an aspect of the Plan’s activities. There are excellent materials on Sexuality, Gender, Family and Morality produced by institutions such as Focus on the Family and the Massachusetts Family Institute. There should be a central place in the state where these resources will be accumulated and disseminated to support the efforts of local churches to affirm the Christian worldview. There materials, in addition to others sponsored by the Plan, should be disseminated through the media, neighborhood distribution, through local churches, as well as high school and colleges. There should be a defined strategy undergirding these efforts, as well as a deliberate, organized spiritual rationale leading to it. It should be coherently and clearly inserted in the context of a more encompassing Plan to win the culture to Christ.
  • The public presence of the Church in Massachusetts should be heightened. Homosexuals have sought to normalize their lifestyle by holding hands and kissing in public, and by making homosexuality a common feature in the media and in public events. Highly visible Christian events such as music festivals and public marches should be pursued all over the state. We should ensure that they be of high quality, attractive, and well attended. Local churches should be provided with specific instructions on how to plan and carry out specific events of this nature. They should be encouraged to work together with other churches in their area in order to increase impact and visibility. Once again, the power of this strategy will come from its uniform nature, as churches all over the state pursue similar strategies and events at more or less the same times in repeated fashion, energized by a common vision and continual prayer.
  • As stated before, prayer is at the heart of this strategy. We must be completely aware that, as II Corinthians 10:3 and 4 states, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” All these efforts must be fueled by and rooted in prayer. There are individuals and ministries all over this state such as Weeping Willows that God has commissioned to encourage and lead the prayer efforts of God’s people. They should be enlisted and incorporated to exercise their gifts on behalf of the Strategic Plan. They will also be relied upon for spiritual insight and covering.
  • Marriage and the Family is at the heart of the present controversy, of course. The Church has been accused of being against gay marriage while not being sufficiently concerned about the high rate of divorce in heterosexual marriages all over this nation. There is an element of truth in this accusation that must not be disregarded. The Church must be for some things as well as against others. More resources should be developed to strengthen the efforts of local churches in this area. Churches in the state should perhaps designate certain Sundays or weekends to address this issue, and concerted prayer should be raised with respect to this. Area marriage retreats should perhaps be organized with a common approach and material. Youth groups should be encouraged and assisted in preparing young people for marriage. Youth leaders and pastors should be encouraged to meet and develop a common approach in this significant area. Pre-marital counseling programs should be facilitated in local churches or areas. Resources for affordable pre-marital and family counseling should be identified or established.

At this point, a few caveats are in order. First of all, this list is by no means exhaustive. There probably are other areas that would need to be addressed, or some of the issues mentioned might be more peripheral and need to be eliminated and replaced with more important ones. Secondly, these various initiatives need not be pursued at the same time. Two or three of the most urgent and important ones might be chosen for initial implementation, while others might be pursued at a later point. Furthermore, as has been already acknowledged, there are several important institutions in this state already addressing some of these areas of concern. They will need to be consulted, and if mutually convenient, areas for collaboration still need to be identified and pursued.

The potential virtue and distinctiveness of the Strategic Plan lies in its aggressive, evangelistic approach; in its conception as a tool for reclaiming the culture; in its potential to enlist the churches in a narrowly defined strategy that will entail similar, repetitive actions all across the state; and in the unification of key leaders and churches across all ethnic and denominational lines. It is in no way meant to duplicate or compete with existing efforts on the part of other sector of the Church.

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