A good hockey player plays where the puck is.
A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
(Canadian professional ice hockey player – 1979 to 1999)
Missional opportunity is like hockey in this respect: If you wait to engage it after it has already emerged, it is already too late to engage it effectively. If you do want to engage missional opportunity effectively, you have to be there, prepared and ready, where and when it emerges, because if you wait, you will be forced to play a losing game of reactive catch-up after the fact.
Say you are considering starting a new congregation. If you wait until a growing community has developed a sufficient number of people to populate and financially support a house of worship, the rising price of real estate will have made purchasing the property on which to construct it cost prohibitive (if there are any suitable properties that have not already been snapped up by builders or more forward-thinking denominations). Similarly, if your established congregation waits to adapt its ministries to its changing neighborhood until the transformation is complete, one-time newcomers may have set down roots in congregations that loved them enough to adapt to them. No, you have to be willing to take the risk of predicting where and when the opportunity is going to be doing what is necessary to be there.[Read more…]