All the talk in church leadership writing and conferences about systems, strategies, techniques, skills, and relevance is fine. Helpful even, most of the time. Okay, some of the time. But they usually miss the point which may explain why the attempt to transfer their principles often meets with something less than success in many ministry situations.
This is warfare, people. Not a spiritual cleanroom where the physical and relational environment is tuned to precise specifications, and your innovations and tweaks are the only variables to the spiritual equation of your life and ministry. It is messy. Turbulent. Difficult. Heart-breaking, even. It is war. Spiritual war, but no less war.
But we don’t like to talk too much about that in polite society. It isn’t politically correct. No, really. It isn’t. At least, not in American culture. Not in politics, or in the church. This is why an apparent Islamic radical was able to commit an act of terrorism at Fort Hood and still elicit sympathy from many in the media. But that isn’t politically correct, so instead we must call him the alleged assailant, or some such.
We live in a dangerous world. Both in the natural and spiritually. Sorry, my pacifist friends, but I will not stand by idly watching the families I pastor, the children I influence, and the friends I love be hewn down by malevolent attacks of the evil one. My sword is drawn and my shield and helmet are secured. Will you join me in the battle?