Today is planning day at Mustard Seed Associates, a day that will hopefully form a foundation for our next five years. As I was praying about it this morning I realized that because we are in an exciting season of growth and development it is easy for us to set program goals and strategize about tasks that need to be accomplished to move us forward. But then I started thinking – who are we at MSA and what are the implications for our planning?
MSA is a very fluid organization. We are constantly looking at trends that we feel will shape the future of individuals, churches and society and using those to reshape our ministry as it functions in the present. Probably more important than that, we are a faith based organization whose vision and ministry revolves around our understanding of God’s shalom future and its implications for our lives. And at the centre of that shalom vision is, at least for me, a spirituality that infuses all of life and shapes all my decisions. As I thought about this I realized that the place our planning needs to start is with a discussion of our spiritual foundations and I thought I would share this with you because I think that this is the place that all of us should start as we start to plan for a new year or a new project.
In his book Whole Life Transformation, Keith Meyer talks about the need for us to develop both personal and corporate rules of life (I prefer calling them rhythms of life) and it seems to me that as we plan for the future that this is the place we need to start. What is your personal rule of life and how does it shape your spiritual disciplines and practices?
Superimposed on that is the corporate rule of life – what spiritual practices form the foundations of who we are as an organization and hold us together as a community? At its heart MSA is a community and we want to ensure that this does not change as we grown and develop. Group discernment using the QUaker discernment process has become very important for us as an organization but there are other aspects of MSA that are equally important. Our emphasis on hospitality, sustainability, and a balanced rhythms of life we realize cannot just be things we talk about they must be practices that all of us carry out in our lives. We cannot educate others for shalom unless we are practicing it ourselves.
We would covert your prayers as we grapple with these issues and shape our lives and our ministry over the coming days. I would also appreciate your thoughts – do you have a personal rule of life? What does it look like? Does your organization have a corporate rule of life? How does it impact the way you function as an organization?