Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Evil of Steering Cats: L. Sweet and R. McNeal

"It could be you're spending too much time planning and not enough time preparing. The planning mode leads to dissonance. The modulation mode leads to consonance....

There is no evidence that 'planning' leads to a brighter tomorrow. Never has. Never will. Ask any gardener...

Modulation means replacing 'plans' with metaphors and songlines of preparedness. Modulation means replacing a philosophy of 'results:' (production, sales, cash flow, net profit, membership gains...) with a philosophy of 'resonance' where power and success reside not in rank or position but in relation and being..

 What organism plans its life? What person can plan his or her future? Can you plan your love? Life is false to formula.. In our world, planning is worse than a mistake-it's an evil.. Ever try to steer a cat or a puppy? No one steers a living thing, it moves forward one step at a time. No living enterprise moves forward by 'planning'.. When you come to a pothole, you don't need a strategic plan to get by. You improvise. After a brief pause, you ad lib your zig zags until you regain your bearings." :-Leonard Sweet , Summoned to Lead 76-77

"New Reality Number Five is the shift from planning to preparation.. Much of what has ultimate effect on the church happens outside it  and its control...

Typical approaches to the future involve prediction and planning. This works OK in a world that expriences significant continuity. It doesn't work in the current environment. Planning tends to be incremenmtal, pushing what we currently are doing into a world that we imagine will be the same as today. Incrementalism as an anticipatory strategy is dead.. The Bible sounds a recurring theme : God wants his people to pray and prepare for his intervention ...It is God who declares 'I know the plans I have for you ', in Jer 29.11. He does not say 'I am waiting for you to develop plans I can bless.' I am not against planning. I am just suggesting..the North American church has settled for (its imaginations, plans and dreams)..

 The future belongs to those who prepare for it, not plan for it. If the North American church is going to make the leap off the sigmoid curve and avoid the sure death guaranteed by incrementalism, it will have to shift its beginning point from present to future. -Reggie McNeal, The Present Future, 92ff

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