How does our doctrine and biblical values influence strategy and methods?

Doctrine and biblical values should be the primary drivers of strategy and methods. While we can’t necessarily directly apply biblical methods and strategies to today’s settings, we can use theological and biblical principles derived from those strategies to determine a ministry’s direction. God is concerned not only with the results of our ministry, but also with how we conduct the ministry.

Theologian Wayne Grudem notes that our decisions and actions (which would include strategies and methods) must align with Biblical principles at each of three levels:

1. Our intentions, desires and attitudes behind our decisions and actions (cf. I Sam. 16.7, I Cor. 13.1-3 and Gal. 5.22-23). These should exude truth, love and the fruit of the Spirit.

2. Our actions (cf. Ex. 20, the Ten Commandments, and Rom. 13.7).

3. The results must align with scripture, cf. I Cor. 13.31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

So for example, some call into question the methodology of encouraging new believers in Christ, who come from a Muslim background, to continue to call themselves Muslims in order not to burn bridges to family and friends. Opponents of this methodology would argue that while the intention (attitude) is good, and the result may be good (some come to Christ later), God cannot ultimately honor methods that could be deemed as involving dishonesty.

Many of the issues in this section of the “Missionary” book reflect practical implementation of four principles of missiology which Propempo teaches as essential training for missionaries.  They are:

·      Learn the language and culture of the recipients or target group as the first priority.

·      Model the development of a plurality of local leaders from the earliest stages of spiritual growth.

·      Focus on the Bible as the source of authoritative guidance for the new believers and the newly forming church.

·      Use only locally acceptable and reproducible methods and means of ministry.

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