When I was Professor of Administrative Sciences, I taught the senior capstone course Strategic Management. I still read the Wall Street Journal and Business Week to stay up with how corporations are changing their strategies for keeping up with the fast-paced changes in technology. For example, it is amazing how much impact Amazon has had on its competitors. It is following a disruptive strategy that is forcing big changes in other retailers. Many retailing jobs are already gone, and more will disappear as stores close and chains retrench.
A similar reorganization is happening in churches.
Strategy comes from the Greek word strategos, the general in charge of an army. The general determines when and where to fight the battle and then positions his troops to the best advantage. That’s strategy. Tactics are how the various units then achieve their assignments.
It has been very frustrating for me over the last 30 years to observe how few pastors and church leaders have any inkling that so many traditional church bodies today are carrying out a strategy developed centuries earlier. Most churches that still value their European heritage are implementing a village strategy. We really need to move on to a suburban strategy for ministry among people who do not know each other and judge congregations by what they experience there.