Exit Strategy (if not in home community)

One of the ObeyGC2 values is that work has an exit strategy if it is not in one’s home community.

This is essential in order to avoid dependency. I’ve discussed dependency resources in another entry, but I wanted to mention another book on the subject. Steve Saint, son of missionary martyr Nate Saint, has written a book called “The Great Omission” which describes dependency in a fresh way. An exit strategy touches on many of the other values I’ve discussed. It probably most directly relates to reproducing, scaling, community-based, viralocity, training (not teaching), local ownership, do no harm, and transformational. The point is that work is not going to be as empowering or developmental as it needs to be if someone does not phase themselves out of the work and phase in local leadership and manpower. This process should begin from day one and be intentional.

The training cycle summarizes this process: model, assist, watch and leave. At first you will do something or train something that is new. You are modeling. Then you will help a local person do or train that new thing. This is assisting. Then you will watch as they do it on their own and be available as a consultant. This is watching. Once they have demonstrated the ability to repeat these three stages in the next generation of learners, you leave. I like to compare this to teaching someone to ride a bicycle. The first step is the person seeing someone ride a bicycle (model). The next is holding the bicycle (assisting) while they pedal. The next step is watching them try and often fail and get back on and try again. When they have the skill learned and know the rules of the road, the trainer leaves. The learner can then help someone else learn to ride. The leaving is important! If my parents had to watch me every time I rode my bike, I wouldn’t get to ride too often. (I’m in my 40’s!)

Paul clearly used this pattern in his missionary activity, but that’s a bit long to look into in a brief blog entry. These first verses are excerpts of his address to the leaders of the church he planted at Ephesus and give a glimpse into these stages.

Acts 20:25, 28, 32, 35

25 Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.

28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
32 Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

2 Tim 1:13

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

1 Cor 11:1-2
11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.