Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Three Phases of New Initiative Gestation

We can learn by taking a step back and observing some patterns. They can inform us for the future, and hopefully help others. One of the patterns we have seen concerns significant new outreach initiatives.

Good ideas are not necessarily that hard to come by - but waiting on God to see if they are God ideas, and the timing He has for them, is more of an art than a science. Yet in each case some clear phases can be identified.

The first, stemming from a good idea and a desire to pursue it, is the Pray and Research phase. Of course prayer factors all the way through, but there comes a point where you have to gather data, know-how, visit others doing something similar and so on. It helps build a picture of how the idea may become reality, and confidence grows as various 'how would we do that?' questions get at least attempted answers.

The second phase is the Pray and Wait. Eventually enough data is gathered, but God has not given the 'go ahead' yet. The waiting time is indefinite, i.e. as long as it takes! This is where the most spiritual depth is required, because of course any 'keenies' will want to press ahead but rushing will not bring achievement. Learn to 'sit light' with the whole idea - maybe this is not the God idea for your community after all! If it isn't, better to let the Spirit gradually erode it away than force it. Assuming the idea and desire endure, then keep praying ...

The third phase is the sense that it is now 'Green Light'. It may well be through an earthly 'compelling event' that the green light comes - but it will become obvious because God will give it a natural momentum. That which God commissions quickly feels like a freight train - it is not going to stopped easily! There may be rapid growth or just the simple ability to keep going, perhaps against the odds. In either case, of course keep praying!

Of course the third phase generates alot of activity and things can happen quickly ... but don't let yourself become so busy that you are unable to step back a bit, reflect, and start to observe the patterns. Maybe you too will conclude that along the way there have been discernible phases not unlike the above.

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