This research addresses the following issue: Traditional strategic planning philosophies and methodologies were not created or developed to reflect or support organizational participation in missio Dei (God’s mission). The following questions provided the focus for the research—
Can the concept of a journey:
• provide a more biblically and missiologically-aligned, helpful, and effective basis for creating new ways of leading and participating in organizational thinking and planning in and among mission and church organizations?”
• address organizations’ desires to flourish in and respond to the complex local and global environments of today and tomorrow?
• be effective in multicultural and global contexts?
The questions above were addressed through three key areas of research: Metaphor and strategy, multi-cultural impressions of journey, and journey and Scripture. A process of qualitative inquiry drew from literature review, survey and case studies. The literature review included contributions from theology, missiology, business, history, and literary classics. The research was also enriched by the wisdom, cultures, contexts, and experiences of survey and case study participants, organizational leaders from more than forty nations. The findings come together to make a unique contribution to the study of strategy as relates to organizations that seek to be a part of God’s mission.
The research primarily, but not exclusively, addresses the needs of Christian organizations, including churches. The study of strategy metaphors and the journey concept could be of benefit to any organization’s leaders. The research is informed by the work and journey of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, but the application potential and implications of the research are broader and deeper than any one group or type of organizations.
Exploring the concept of journey led to findings concerning the importance of metaphor, the near-universality of journey as a metaphor, and the many rich facets of this concept when voices from many nations are heard. The case studies and research associated with the literature review also provided insights into how the journey concept can be practically applied across cultures and in ever-changing, and often complex, global and local contexts.