Those willing to adapt will overcome obstacles and survive to become influencers in the future direction of the Church and culture.
Special weapons teams have a phrase that directs their response when they encounter an unexpected threat. That phrase is “Adapt, Overcome, Survive.” Adapting is the ability to change tactics mid-mission in response to a developing and fluid threat that was not considered when the team was first deployed. Overcoming is the ability to employ superior tactics and firepower to take down an opposing force. When the first two elements are employed, the chances of survival and mission completion increase.
This concept does not only apply to special weapons teams or elite military units. It can apply to a kid cornered in a utility closet during a school shooting when running away is not possible and fighting back is their only chance of survival. It is true in the business world. Remember Blockbuster video stores? They failed to adapt their product marketing to overcome an emerging competitor. As a result, they did not accurately discern the threat of Netflix, a competitor who stepped onto the entertainment stage under a hail of mockery from some in the business world. Now Netflix is experiencing a market share dive due to new the emergence of new competitors. The displacement that Netflix initiated against Blockbuster has come to pay Netflix a visit.
This concept also applies to the models of ministry the Church employs in a changing culture. The Church in its purest form will always survive, but our models of ministry must be reevaluated to determine if our way of reaching a lost world and confronting evil needs adjustment. Each new season of history will require a variety of tactical readjustments and adaptations from the Church. This will include how we conduct spiritual warfare. For some, it might be the first time they realized a spiritual war is taking place. These first-timers are an awakened group whose voices are being heard for the first time in the halls of culture.
The evidence these adjustments are needed is seen in the rise of spiritual reformers moving into all spheres of cultural influence. These reformers are no longer content to wait for reluctant leaders, sluggish ministry models, and failing tactics to bring about change. They sense an urgency to adapt. Reformers are stepping out in faith and through walls of opposition to accomplish the Great Commission. They are modeling what it means to adapt, overcome, and survive spiritually in a world where dark forces are on a mission to silence truth and displace righteousness with evil.
On point, point of the Spear.
Adapt, Innovate, Overcome – Survive – sounds like Jesus admonition “When men accuse you falsely, take no thought, for the Spirit of your Father will give you what to speak in that very hour.”
Men and women of excellence are devoted to discipline. Daily rehearsal of basics that reinforce muscle memory. However, in the presence of conflict, they rely on flexibility rather than adherence to a plan.
Great reminder, Garris.