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Forget Your Mission

One of the most important reason to hire an architect is to help figure out what the question should have been. It’s not unusual for ministry leaders to ask “How should we build what we want?” before asking “Why do we want what we’re building?”.

“One does not begin with answers,” the legendary business consultant Peter Drucker once said. “One begins by asking, ‘What are our questions?’”

Drucker is quoted in a pair of articles at Fast Company’s Co.Design.com, in which writer Warren Berger talks with five prominent business consultants about the power of asking the right questions. He could have been talking to ministry leaders when he argues that asking “big, bold questions” can reframe the challenges that organizations face.  I’ve listed only the questions themselves below, but in most cases you’ll find the discussions in the article even more helpful.

  1. What is our purpose on this earth?
  2. What should we stop doing?
  3. If we didn’t have an existing business, how could we best build a new one?
  4. Where is our Petri dish? [Where does experimentation happen?]
  5. How can we make a better experiment?

Five more questions that focus specifically on mission appear in Part II:

  1. Why are we here in the first place?
  2. What does the world need most that we are uniquely able to provide?
  3. What are we willing to sacrifice?
  4. What matters more than money?
  5. Are we all on this mission together?

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for your article on “Forget your Mission.” I have noticed recently that church planters are taking more time to consider asking the questions you mentioned about why their church should be in a specific location. If we want to reach the next generation, our goal should be to study the demographics, know the needs of the city, be contextual to our surroundings. However, at the end of the day, we can only water and plant, but it is God who makes the increase.

  2. Although the question “Why are we here” has more to do with purpose than location, you make an excellent point. Perhaps it didn’t make the list because so many businesses are “location-less”, an option that’s not available, in my opinion, to ministry.

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