Sailing conversation goes forward

The powerboat represents the modern paradigm— bottom-up, high-control, power “inside the boat.” The powerboat is fast, makes big waves, and is driven to its destination without regard for the wind. The sailboat represents the biblical paradigm— top-down, high-trust, power “outside the boat.” The sailboat is sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It is quiet, and moves with cooperative reliance on the wind.
The powerboat represents the modern paradigm—bottom-up, high-control, power “inside the boat.” The powerboat is fast, makes big waves, and is driven to its destination without regard for the wind. The sailboat represents the biblical paradigm—top-down, high-trust, power “outside the boat.” The sailboat is sometimes fast, sometimes slow. It is quiet, and moves with cooperative reliance on the wind.

The conversation about “Powerboat versus Sailboat” comparing paradigms for Christian ministry—goes forward in two ways: 1) a new report, and 2) a new blog

1) A new report is available. It is titled: A report on “Catching the Wind of God—A Sailing Retreat” (Contrasting the “Powerboat” and “Sailboat” mindset for leadership), Belhaven College, Jackson, Mississippi, September 1–3, 2009

2) A new blog has been launched: “Sailingfriends.” Alex Araujo of Partners International is the primary author of the blog. It is a place where the conversation continues concerning the contrasting paradigm represented by “powerboat versus sailboat.” Check it out! This site is focused exclusively on the theology, theory and practice of this paradigm shift … from powerboat to sailboat.

The chart below summarizes the contrast in paradigms:

pwerboat-sailboat-chart

What is the significance of this for cross-cultural partnership ministry? The report adds more weight to the view that a powerboat paradigm for cross-cultural partnership ministry is not nearly as effective as a sailboat mindset. This is enormously important, considering the sheer volume of short-term mission efforts, as well as cross-cultural partnerships, conducted by western Christians and church groups in the majority world.

For more insight concerning the significance of this paradigm for cross-cultural partnership ministry, read this short article which I co-authored with Alex Araujo and Mary Lederleitner: “To Catch the Wind: A New Metaphor for Cross-Cultural Partnership.


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