The criteria used to select the 12 Reform engine at the heart of the NGC Strategy
It took 10 years and three book writings for me to finally distil the NGC Strategy. Over the last two years I have been refining the strategy by testing it on small groups of Christians. Reactions have been almost uniformly neutral laced with some scepticism. This is frustrating but not surprising given that the strategy is so contrary to the way we ‘do church’. Much of western Christianity is introspective and centralised around drawing outsiders in. New thinking under such circumstances is difficult to accept. In Issachar’s Call, available off this site, I devote two chapters to the reasons behind the resistance to change and outright defensiveness that grips a Church in denial that it is being relegated by the enemies of God to the also rans.
The NGC strategy rests on the 12 Reforms and their antecedents, the five core Christian world view principles. I’m finding Christians often default to suspicion and scepticism as soon as they see both. I’m told both the reforms and the principles are just my opinion. Of course, on hearing that I’m tempted to respond with “well, is that just your opinion”. Whenever you are accosted with this accusation, for that is what it really is, you know you are being told your views and ideas count for nothing for people who have, more often than not, taken no time to actually study the ‘opinion’ at all. The response is conditioned rather than reasoned. It is a conditioned addictive response from a comfortable status quo that is yielding little (Haggai 1:7-9).
Let me focus here on the 12 Reforms. On this site I’ve included a number of videos explaining why they are so important. The strategy collapses without them. Christians regularly resort to the just-your-opinion reaction, or they assume the reforms are just ideas disconnected from biblical validity because they look like and are practical social and economic policy ideas. Somehow they think the Bible must remain disconnected from practicalities, innovation and reformation. I respond by asking for other options for breaking back into western societies. But, given the times in which we live any alternatives must meet a set of criteria essential if prosecuting both the Great Command and the Great Commission is to be possible under current circumstances. I will not accept the status-quo because that is just plain unacceptable within a civilisation in full blown rebellion against the precepts of God and the work of salvation completed by Jesus Christ. So, here are the criteria anyone wanting to find alternatives to the 12 Reforms need to work with:
· Do they comport with the 5 core CWV principles? If they don’t there is no lineage to Scripture and no bridge to the easy transitions to the gospel the NGC Strategy is designed to achieve.
· Will they confront the two giants, liberalism and corporatism doing everything in the West that God hates?
· Are they designed to address the major social problems distilled from a proper appreciation of the times in which we live? If they do not then they will have no impact on the unsaved. They will be useless in generating renewed interest in Christianity.
· Are they just a nice to do that would not take the axe to the root of the problems now endemic within the West? If they are not fundamentally transformative and counter-cultural they will have no attention grabbing impact for evangelistic purposes.
· Would they be effective as counters to the perverse forces (sinfulness) of our fallen nature, operating at the community level? I cover these perverse forces in my books.
· Do your alternate reforms intersect with each other multiplying their effect (see the video on the 12 Reforms), or are they just disconnected ‘good ideas’?
· Are they prophetic in nature? Do they describe what is wrong and how it is to be put right in ways acceptable to God?
· Is there any evidence that your ideas find support more widely? About 9 of my reforms have been practiced successfully or find enthusiastic support in some circles.
· Do they resonate with widespread and deep-seated concerns in society?
All my reforms meet these criteria. I’ve set a deliberately high bar. If someone can come up with better alternatives, or even replace all 12 with a better set let me know. I will receive them enthusiastically because prosecuting the NGC strategy is much more important than leaving the two giants to continue their rampage through our civilisation, while the Church wanders in its self-imposed wilderness.