I listened to a fascinating podcast this morning from FiveThirtyEight about the American military, its usage of drones and the sheer amount of data taken in by those drones. The podcast is an interview with William Arkin, the author of “Unmanned: Drones, Data, and the Illusion of Perfect Warfare“.
The premise is that when decisions are made based only on information, there is no longer a strategic context or purpose driving those choices- the “how?” and “why?” of the deployment of power is minimalized.
What’s more, the Just War concept is discussed; the context of which is that Just War always allows for the creation (or re-creation) of a “better” culture and society post-war (was was done after the defeat of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany using the Marshal Plan). Even though we fought “total war”- we still fought with the mindset that there would be a rebuilding- there was indeed, an “end” to the “means”.
As I reflect upon this, I wonder how many churches simply act on information in the moment (and see an immediate tangible result like a new member or baptism or an increase in attendance) rather than actually create a long-term sustainable strategy that will yield fruit for years to come. To use the words from the podcast, is it possible that the church has become “all targeting, no strategy”? And to paraphrase them,
“We’ve become so good at this kind of targeted “discipleship”, and the “programming” (has) become so precise, that we mistake our ability to find “people” and “disciple” them with an actual “discipleship” strategy.”
Check it out…