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The Business of Souls: When Experts Attack, Part II

Here’s what I can’t figure out: How in the world did Saint Patrick evangelize all of those Druid priests and clan chieftains without a mission statement?  After all, history and tradition tell us that he walked around preaching and performed an occasional miracle.  But how did he know what his mission was?  And then, there are purpose and strategy and vision—all three of which cannot be left to chance, if today’s business and Church-growth experts are right.  (“Christ before me, Christ behind me”—what does that mean, practically speaking?)  If you want to be effective, if you want to achieve success, if you want your enterprise to grow, you have to be on top of these things, or else you will simply stand still.  And, as we all know, there is no such thing as “standing still”: If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling backward.

A leader moves forward and induces others to follow him into the future.  He does this by casting a vision—by explaining, concisely and concretely, where the organization is heading.  (If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!)  This vision helps to define the mission, which must also be articulated and repeated, mantra-like, in order to give followers a sense of identity and purpose.  Imagine what Patrick’s success would have been,...

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