Force multiplication in ministry

I recently read Tom Clancy’s, Command and Authority.  Maybe it was the nostalgia of reading the last Clancy Jack Ryan novel ever, but I found it a good read.  It moved quickly, it hit all the historical bits of Jack Snr’s life and was also quite illuminating in explaining what is currently going on in the Ukraine.  However, for the most interesting bit of the book was it’s sub-theme of force multiplication.  

According to wikipedia:  Force multiplication, in military usage, refers to an attribute or a combination of attributes which make a given force more effective than that same force would be without it. [1]

In the book there were soldiers who were downrange laser targeting enemy tanks for helicopter gunships to destroy.  Hence the force multiplication was that the helicopters significantly increased their accuracy and effectiveness whilst also reducing exposure to enemy attack.  Whilst I was not thinking of ministry as a war – there is far too much war at the moment! – I did get thinking about “force multipliers” in ministry.

Here are a couple I could come up with:

  1. Technology.  Like any organisation, technology has really helped churches become better organised, communicate better and care for others better.  Imagine pastoral ministry without databases, email and phones!
  2. Optimism: Gen Colin Powell once said “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” [2]  This is not just blindly accepting bad situations.  Rather it is the Christian recognising that our Truine God is sovereign; that Christ has defeated death and won forgiveness; and that no matter what happens in this life our eternity is secure and we have the Holy Spirit in the mean time!

Other multipliers would include morale, adaptable strategies, and organisational structures.

Anyway, I am always intrigued by what churches and ministries can learn from the world around us!

 

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force_multiplication
[2] http://www.leaderthoughtship.com/2013/01/colin-powells-perpetual-optimism-as.html

Advertisements