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Today we began week three of our missions training discussing “deployment.” 

This tool/process will help us work through complex tasks and multi-faceted vision by determining what needs to be done, who needs to do it, when it needs to be done, where it will be done, how we will do it, as determined by whom.

There are many Spirit-filled organizations/missionaries who have great visions, but they are at best woefully inadequate in this area of deployment.

Anything we do in ministry begins first as a vision.

Deployment is all about getting the abstract vision into concrete end results while not only surviving the process, but thriving through it.  We hear of ministry ideas all the time that don’t pan out.  What went wrong?  Most people will say it was simply due to the wrong person on the job, but most of the time it comes down to inadequate or no deployment.

Mike Turner of Life Link International says it this way,

“Deployment is not glamorous-it’s hard work-it’s rare.  However it’s essential to success or lack thereof.  It is the difference between intent and action, vision and practice, and awareness and integration.”

Louis Gerstner says we need to adopt the Noah principle:

“No more prizes for predicting rain (vision).  Prizes only for building arks (end results).

So what is deployment exactly?  The basic simplified meaning is to get something installed and running.

The elements of deployment are

  • Structure,
  • Tools,
  • Process, and
  • Vehicles.

We went into each one of these components in depth today in our class.

At the end of the day, we put our learning into practice and “deployed” our upcoming short term trip to Nicaragua.

As a team, we broke down assets, costs, time lines, expectations, ministry projects and alot of other things.  It was interesting to see the group dynamic work through the issues one by one.  To make the pressure stronger, we only had a set amount of time to meet all of our objectives and map out the week long trip.

During the deployment process, I thought about how the people coming from the States were giving up their family vacations and spending alot of hard earned money to serve on this mission project, some maybe for the first time.  My thinking was that everything should be well though out for them, enjoyable, and life changing.  We shouldn’t be figuring anything up as we go along.

The “vision” will only happen through proper deployment. 

Through this all, I can see how many missionaries have great aspirations for the work, for great projects, and great vision for outreaches in their mind.  However they have never been able to effectively and consistently create positive end results.  I now believe that the failures, most of the time, come from bad deployment.

From a strictly Biblical perspective, I thought about how Jesus warned us to sit down and count the cost in order to see if we would have the resources to finish what we start.

Counting the cost is part of the deployment process-the question “what will it take to get this done?” 

Of course, we must always make room for God to move supernaturally and unexpectantly, but this should never be an excuse for poor planning, administration, and execution.

So why is it so difficult? 

Here are some of the reasons we came up with:

  • we want things done quickly,
  • we equate non planning to being Spirit-led,
  • we want others to tell us what to do,
  • fear of failure and of the unknown,
  • difficult for leadership to change,
  • bad habits, and
  • because we don’t maintain past gains (recording processes from past success.)

If we could just wrap our minds around the fact that if we would do 20% of the hard work upfront (planning and deployment), it would maintain the other 80% of the work (execution).

If we want the vision to come to pass, we will have to make sure we have the right ingredients, tools, processes, and vehicle.

Do you agree?  What would you change or add? What experiences have you had that confirm or deny this process?

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