I am currently reading through Dr. Roger Parrott’s book, The Longview: Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders. Chapter 8 is titled, “Planning Will Drain the Life from Your Ministry.” For me, that chapter title alone is like a drink of cool water on a hot day. Here’s how Roger ends the chapter:
Occasionally we see operational planning in the Bible: Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Jesus sending the disciples to prepare the Last Supper. But most of the big ideas God gave to his people in dreams. Jacob, Joseph, Abraham, the Magi, John on Patmos.
Christian leaders need to spend more time dreaming, praying, and listening to what God wants for us, rather than huddled around conference tables attempting to plan God’s best for us.
It has long been quoted, “He how fails to plan, plans to fail,” but don’t be so sure that’s true. Yes, operational, localized planning is vital to a well-managed ministry. But putting too much energy into planning an unknown future will drain the life from your ministry. Instead, longview leaders must look to the future as the wellspring of opportunity and be poised to take advantage of it.
What does this have to do with cross-cultural partnership? Here’s one idea: What if you took time to build and deepen your relationship with your cross-cultural ministry partner by dreaming, praying, and listening to God together. What an investment in your friendship this would be! What a great faith-builder it would be to explore together God’s best for your partnership! Could it be that dreaming, praying, and listening to God together—as partners in God’s global mission to bless all peoples—is one of the most catalytic things you could do to advance the partnership and build God’s kingdom?