The SWOT analysis

Over the last decade I have been part of numerous meetings wherein the future has been discussed in terms of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These meetings would then discuss different aspects of the church and analyze it. Four columns with these headings would then be used to ,

ask and answer questions that generate meaningful information for each category (strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats) in order to maximize the benefits of this evaluation and find their competitive advantage.”

This morning I pondered the Nativity scene and imagined the Trinity’s interaction with the Four columns prior to Jesus’s incarnation.

Imagine Father, Son and Holy Spirit discussing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in sending God to earth in the womb of a fourteen year old who could potentially be stoned for having a baby outside of wedlock. Imagine the Father starting the analysis, “what are some of the strengths in our plan to send Jesus as a newborn?” Imagine Jesus adventurously pontificating on the exciting opportunities inherited in the plan to become man”. Imagine the Spirit elucidating the ways in which weaknesses and threats will be overcome.

When I think about this I am amazed at the alternative analyses of the Trinity. God interacts differently with a SWOT analyses. In God’s eyes strengths might be weaknesses and opportunities might be threats. In God’s eyes things look so different.

When I ponder this I have a suspicion that if we would invite God into our SWOT analyses things might be turned upside down and inside out. For a SWOT analysis in the presence of God invites us into the wild adventure of God’s kingdom.