The Action Item Method
The Christian Reconstructionist must be a Biblical strategist. While thinking God’s thoughts after Him is essential, the Reconstructionist must be able to transfer his ideas into action. This is accomplished by adopting an “Action Item” methodology. Ideas on how to reconstruct any area of the culture must be transformed into measurable actions. This is done by breaking down the idea into specific concrete steps so that anyone can easily follow the plan to realize its end goal. Simply put, an “Action Item” methodology is a list of detailed step by step instructions on how to achieve a particular end. The “Action Item” list then is used to guide the individual or the team in the execution of the plan.
An Idea is Not Actionable Until It Is
Ideas do not have consequences until they are embraced by others. Until an idea is unleashed upon a people they are ineffective. Ideas must be developed into action. The Biblical strategist must be able to make those ideas happen. He must be able to skillfully execute his ideas by establishing a connection to the real world through actionable steps. It is that connection which brings those ideas to life. If ideas are to be effective they must be translated into actionable steps.
Organization & Execution
Organization of ideas leads to their successful execution. Without organization, especially when it comes to ideas and concepts, things get confused and often lost. All ideas must be first organized before they are coupled with action. Begin a journal of ideas. Write everything down on paper as soon as you think of them. If you fail to do this they will be easily forgotten. Writing them down gives them form and concreteness.
Organize with the end in mind. Be sure your ideas have a purpose. For the Christian Recon, ideas would naturally lead toward advancing the Kingdom of Christ. Perhaps you have an idea that gives you, your team, or your church, greater visibility in the community. The purpose of this idea might be so that you would be placed in a better position to influence that community with Biblical Truths. Perhaps it would be so that you might affect the magistrates or the political parties of your locality. Whatever the end goal you must begin with the end in sight in order to build your action plan.
Marketing An Idea
Transposing your idea into an action plan is actually a marketing strategy. What you are hoping for whenever transforming your idea into action is its acceptance by others in the hope of cultural renewal Godward. In essence you are marketing your idea through the Action plan. This is where the Action Item List becomes an absolute necessary.
A Case Study
In order to promote The New Geneva Christian Leadership Academy we posited the idea of developing 10 15-30 second video presentations highlighting 10 different course tracts offered at Geneva, and then strategically placing them on a series of social media sites.
Note the first step is the end goal; promote 10 different Geneva courses by using visual presentations of 15-30 seconds.
Our next step was to decide which courses were to be featured. This required an Action Item list. These are the courses we would take “Action” on. And so we made a list of the courses. This made the “idea” of which courses we would choose concrete. We now had a concrete list of courses that we could act upon.
Next, the copy for the voice overs would have to be written for each of the videos. This too requires an action list. In other words, it is not enough to say that the voice over copy for these courses are to be written. We needed to know which course comes first. A list of priorities have to be made. This makes the task of writing the voice over copy more specific. It gives the writer a concrete plan of action. Once the list is made the copy writer can begin writing the copy in order of their priority.
At this point the copy writer needs to know what features of the courses are to be included. Another “Action Item” list needs to be made. Once the copy is written it is given to the voice over specialist for its recording as well as to the video production crew.
The Communication Strategy
Even after all the production is complete and the result is a concrete product it is still not effective until it is realized within the community. This is where making the plan visible comes into play. Now that your idea has the concreteness to make an impact on the world you have to share it effectively.
This is where you may want to consult some knowledgeable individuals on how to accomplish this both effectively and cost efficiently. You may find those individuals in house, within your own team as we have at Geneva, or you may wish to go outside your team for help. Once you have a plan of execution it should be included in your written Action Plan.
For example: Which video will introduce the project? Is there a sequence that each video should follow? If so what is it? Which social media sites will be used? How long will the video run before the next one is introduced? Can each video presentation be coupled with analytics? It might be useful to know what response is given to each presentation. Measurability is a great guiding tool.
Scott Belsky, in his book, “Making Ideas Happen” observes,
“Self starters are often successful doing everything themselves. However, when forced to grow beyond the one person show, many creative people struggle to make the leap from a solo success to a successful collaboration.”
There are so many advantages to creative collaboration. Sometimes it takes years to develop a team that is well blended and who has a chemistry that works productively together. In order to develop such a team, the same “Action Methodology” is to be used. I shall discuss that at another time. Until then, use the Action Item Method to develop a concrete plan of action for each and every one of your Christian Recon ideas.
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