Ep. 110: Part 2 – Mission Vision Method

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Episode Transcript:

As Mingo and Robert further discuss being flexible about the methods you use in your ministry, Mingo brings up an example from his own church. He explains that Torrey Pines conducted an “end of series” survey for a new program in January. The questions included, “Did you make a first-time commitment to Christ, or did you recommit your life to Jesus?” The results showed that more people intentionally recommitted to Jesus in January than in the whole year of 2019.

Learning this information was possible because they were willing to change up their methods and try the survey as a way to collect data, Mingo says. “Obviously God is doing something great; it was a great series. But this is a great example of how we changed the method while still staying so true to the mission: people helping people find and follow Jesus.”

So, how do you become and stay flexible in ministry? Mingo believes the answer is compassion. “If you look through Jesus’s ministry, I know nine occasions, Old Testament and New Testament, where compassion was the motivating factor for something to change. And it was a fast change. It wasn’t slow.”

In Matthew 14:14-16, for example, Jesus goes out and is moved with compassion for the people flocking to him, even though he had just learned of the beheading of his cousin, John the Baptist. When he sees the multitude, he can’t help but feel compassion for them. “I think that that is the motivator for being flexible. When you see real people in front of you – not when you are trying to accomplish X number of things in a certain amount of time, but when you can see through the program, you can see through the way things are always done and see people. If you can feel something, I think that you’ve got a shot at being flexible,” Mingo says.

Mingo points out that there are numerous examples in the Bible of Jesus doing this, including when he sees individual people for whom he feels compassion. “And he changes. He’s going from one place to another, and then he stops, he waits. He is flexible because of his compassion.” “He’s moved into action,” Robert adds.

An example of the disciples demonstrating flexibility in methods comes from Luke 5, as at the end of a long night of fishing, the fishermen tell Jesus they have caught nothing. Jesus tells them to cast their nets again. “There’s a moment, there’s an opportunity presenting itself to be flexible,” Mingo says. And the disciples take it. They cast their nets one more time, and they end up catching so many fish that their nets begin to tear and their boats almost sink.

Taking the examples of Jesus and the disciples, avoid becoming rigid about your methods in ministry. God may be broadening the scope of what you’re doing, and if you’re not open to it, you may miss the opportunity for something great. “Sometimes our best timing, what I think is appropriate or what the professional opinion of the ministry thinks is appropriate, isn’t going to be Jesus timing,” Mingo says.

Another temptation to guard against is letting success become all about yourself and your own glory. If you find your ministry is hitting the bull’s-eye after a successful pivot, “Man, it’s so easy for you or for a team to do your own cheering, patting yourselves on the back,” Mingo reflects. But “when you make a Jesus move, a Jesus timing decision, it’s all about Jesus’s glory.” Just as the story of the fishermen in Luke 5 teaches us, our responsibility is simply to choose to cast the net, to be willing to pivot; “the return, the catch, is up to Jesus.”

In closing, Mingo reminds us, “Being fast and fluid and flexible will always yield a chance for you not to be the hero and Jesus to be the hero. It’s always going to test your team. It’s going to be tension worth managing. But when you are able to make quick decisions, especially around the vision that’s right in front of you, the methods you use to accomplish the mission – man, God can do a great work.”

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