At this year's Willowcreek Leadership Summit Dr. Michael Porter a Harvard business professor challenged us to ask the question, "are we doing good, well". His contention is that most congregations that are trying to do good – aren't doing it very well. He said that at best we are ineffective and at worst we could be doing harm. He suggested that we change our mindset from charity & giving to that of delivering a service to a customer. He recommended that we ask "how can we add value to this particular customer." For Porter results are the key. He recommends a strategic approach that asks four questions: 1. Do we have clearly defined goals about what our objective is? 2. Where will we serve? 3. How will we serve? What specific needs will we address? More is not better. 4. How will we create alignment? Porter advocates for a sustainable solution model. There was much more to his presentation and I recommend you check it out at www.willowcreek.com/leadership2007.
I was really challenged by Porter's presentation. I believe that getting Christians to "do good" is valuable to them, to the person being served, and to the Kingdom. However, I was challenged to move beyond just the act of service. I was challenged to think more strategically – to see that providing sustainable solutions is what the Kingdom is all about. I will think differently about what my congregation ought to be doing and how I will help other congregations in the future. What do you think?