Overview of Course #2 ~ Opal Design for Robust Ministries
Topics in Course #2
- Theologically Missional ~ The “Why” of Opal Design
- Culturally Contextual ~ The “Where and When” of Opal Design
- Personally Intercultural ~ The “Who” of Opal Design
- Socially Transformation ~ The “What” of Opal Design
- Relationally Safe, Methodologically Holistic, Generationally Sustainable ~ The “How” of Opal Design
- Final Immersion Learning Experience
Overview of Course #2 –
Opal Design for Robust Ministries
Course #2: Opal Design for Robust Ministries ~ Constructing Christian Ministries that are Missional, Contextual, Intercultural, Transformational, and Sustainable.
Course #1 (Safe Houses for God’s People) focused on how things can go terribly wrong in any kind of organizational enterprise, given bad “spiritual DNA” from abusive leaders, toxic organizational strategies and structures, and cultures of social control. It was specifically designed to provide the background necessary to complete this complementary course.
Course #2 (Opal Design for Robust Ministries) takes the wisdom learned from the first course, and refocuses organization participants, designers, and developers on how to do things right by implanting constructive spiritual DNA into enterprises that are new or transitioning. It details how intercultural teams can work together to design and develop positive ministries that are safe, holistic, and sustainable. Such enterprises are theologically missional, cultural contextual, personally intercultural, and socially transformational.
Topics in Course #2
I will refine this outline and add sets of illustrative movies and other media later. The forthcoming Opal Design Missional Metrics Resource Suite will provide definitions, descriptions, and indicators for the various features that make a ministry “robust.” It will also provide practical methods for assessing the beginning status of each indicator, as well as how to track changes and evaluate the “transformational impact” of indicators in and through the enterprise.
Theologically Missional ~ The “Why” of Opal Design
Seven critical values in the missional paradigm:
- DiscipLeaders – all disciples “lead” through participating in general Christian service and contributing according to their spiritual gifts.
- Spiritual producers rather than mere consumers.
- Personal presence in a neighborhood or people group.
- Everyday activities for incremental impact.
- Gift-based ministry.
- Indigenous context with locally developed approaches instead of imported plug-and-play programs.
- Kingdom collaboration.
Culturally Contextual ~ The “Where and When” of Opal Design
“Human sonar and CAT scans” of culture, and intercultural teamwork for observations, analysis, and interpretation of three layers in paradigm systems:
- Information processing: epistemology, values, beliefs.
- Operational systems: strategies, structures, methodological model.
- Surface society: cultures, lifestyles, and modes of collaboration.
Cultural ReCon – skills for cultural research.
Observational parallax (where the same phenomena is viewed from different angles and gives different perspectives) and its uses in compositing an even more complete picture of a culture.
Frameworks for cultural interpretation and contextualization – resist destructive anti-biblical aspects of culture, resonate with pro-biblical “bridge” aspects, respect for the people regardless.
Basics of integrating paradigm shifting, cultural contextualization, and strategic foresight.
Personally Intercultural ~ The “Who” of Opal Design
Creating a welcoming and redemptively transforming environment for disciplining all people, regardless of their particular “life-dominating problems” (issues based on temptation, sin, health, family status, etc.)
Integrating people’s learning style differences to create stronger teamwork, make a more accessible ministry setting, and customize communication and training for how participants can best receive them.
Creativity tools based in different learning styles elements, how to apply these tools in problem solving and building community, how to avoid “spiritual plagiarism,” and how to implement change and innovation without creating chaos and inconsideration.
Six skills for creating transformational teams:
- Discern realistic goals.
- Discern sources of conflict among team members and between the team and people in the cultural setting of activity.
- Practice “incarnational relationship skills.”
- Conduct intentional cultural compositing to create a stronger team.
- Choose and use methodologies that build “congruent infrastructures” for a stronger system.
- Address toxicity quickly and compassionately, and refuse to ignore it.
Socially Transformational ~ The “What” of Opal Design
Specific frameworks and skills for integrating paradigm shifting, cultural contextualization, and strategic foresight with “triangulating” a plausible and preferable trajectory that involves:
- A host culture …
- … and Christian disciples in that culture, who influence others as salt and light by living their faith and sharing their life (not seeking to control the outcomes), to move toward …
- … holistic “Kingdom Culture” (the personal and social outworking of Christlike character).
Seven ways church leaders get it WRONG about “the future”:
- Leaders keep it a win/lose scenario, with their vision “winning” and everyone else is just supposed to submit themselves to this visionary leader’s view of the future.
- Leaders are enamored with the concept of change, or with constant change, or with the romanticized notion of discovering that – somehow – their church had changed. But they refuse to accept the concrete reality of the work involved.
- Leaders think that changing their ministry methodology or style of presentation is enough.
- Leaders think they can keep their same old ministry emphasis and systems as the “new” default.
- Leaders settle for “strategic” methods but refuse to do the work of discerning and deciding a goal that is both plausible, based on the corporate “spiritual DNA,” and redemptive, based on how that DNA plus the local setting (super)naturally leads to a destiny by God’s design.
- Leaders refuse to resolve chronic critiques of the organization, and terminal problems in it.
- Leaders still want to be the CEO/one single person in charge, despite this being an era of decentralized, participatory leadership.
Relationally Safe, Methodologically Holistic, Generationally Sustainable ~ The “How” of Opal Design
Processes and procedures for creating a practical, flexible plan for rooting into a specific place through building strategies and structures that are:
- Suitable for the group God has brought together.
- Sensitive to the surrounding culture.
- Survivable in light of unavoidable global changes.
- Sustainable for several generations.
Final Immersion Learning Experience
The final “integration exercise” will be a challenging but practical experience. It forges a team to collaborate in designing an enterprise (in this case, a reality TV program) and creating a comprehensive set of planning and promotion documents. The purpose of this immersion learning experience is to model the comprehensive processes used in developing missional ministry projects and organizations that demonstrate a “spiritual and cultural DNA” of viability, vitality, and versatility. The learning project includes three parts:
- Explore concept frameworks for game theory, simulation games and learning, teamwork exercises, action-reflection versus theory-into-practice learning processes, and differences between cooperative win/win games and competitive win/lose games.
- Analyze the paradigm and cultural systems of a selected reality TV show, along with related promotional materials and the learning style appeals and cultural contextualization that dominate the marketing materials.
- Apply that analysis to creating the entire framework for an original reality game show. This includes the core concepts, episode series overviews, participant profile and interview process, hosts and mentors profiles, production pitch, executive summary, budget outline, and marketing press kit.
~ July 2012
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