While we were in India, several times the main leader we work with there (who has seen hundreds of thousands of people baptized this year in his network), mentioned that the key to the growth they have seen was the building of infrastructure before they needed it. Since then, Tony and I have spent many hours discussing this.
According to Wikipedia, "Infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a such as roads, water supply, sewers, power grids, telecommunications, and so forth."
So the question we have been asking ourselves is this: What is the basic infrastructure needed for a sustainable move of God? By this, I mean what are the unseen (and therefore receiving no glory), practical factors that facilitate a move of God?
Our Indian friend was primarily referencing the leadership training they have had in place for several years. They recognize six levels of leadership and training.
- Working at a grass-roots level by starting a house church
- Leading a cluster of house churches in a block of 150 villages
- Leadership of several clusters of house churches
- Master trainers at a district level
- Master trainers at a state level
- Master trainers at an international level
Each level is responsible for training others, so for example, the master trainer at a state level is responsible for training those at a district level who is in turn responsible for training the leaders of the clusters of house churches in his area. There are more than twenty key subjects that everybody is trained in although at different depths according to their function. These twenty key subjects are basic but with a very missional emphasis. Everybody is brought together for several days of training per year. Even an illiterate woman leader is able to expound on these subjects including chapter and verse.
My sense is that this level of organization is probably not good in an American context with our propensity for control and competition. What does anyone else think?
So what would infrastructure look like here in a Western context?
Infrastructure enables growth and communication. We share some infrastructure with the secular world in the shape of the Internet–websites, blogs, twitter etc. that enable communication that can have a profound spiritual impact. Groups such as CMA produce great resouces (go to a Greenhouse training if you haven't yet been to one. You can find details here). We are in the process ourselves of resurrecting our Luke 10 courses too. We have one planned for a weekend later this month. Details about future ones will come out in the House2House e-letter.
Here are some other areas that infrastructure might cover:
- materials that enable growth such as DVDs, books
- shared resources, finance
Any other ideas?