The manual for Christ's campaign
What every team member needs to live by

The Bible is not your typical campaign manual. It does have some policies and instructions, but if you read it as an instruction manual, you will miss most of it. 

The Bible is mostly stories about how the CHB campaign (Connect, Heal, Bless) has gone over the past 4000 years--what people did, what God did, and what that tells us about participating in the campaign today. The Bible also some other things not usually found in manuals, like poetry, prophecies, detailed descriptions of dreams, and letters to local campaign chapters.

But don't take the Sunday School view of the Bible, like it is just a stack of stories that have good morals for us. The Bible is actually one long story about God's campaign to save the world from itself. Step 1 of playing on Christ's campaign team is to start getting a feel for that long story.

A two-minute way to do that is to read any one of these seven stories. Each one summarizes the whole Bible from a different angle in about 800 words. Skim through for the big idea of what this whole CHB campaign is about and how it works. 

In all seven versions of the Bible summary, Jesus Christ is the central figure even though he does not enter the story in person until about 80% of the way through the Bible. Then he takes the whole campaign to a new level.

As Campaign Director and Spearhead, he coordinates the campaign right up to today, preventing the chaos that many other campaigns run into. He doesn't expect team members to memorize the manual or perfectly comply with it. He does expect them to know what campaign they are in, who is in charge, and what basic non-negotiables he has laid down.

He also expects them to keep learning from the manual, getting better at campaign work. He is furious when team members get casual about the manual or start putting their own agenda above his.

SYNC tools help campaign team members appreciate and live by the manual.

To See Yourself iN Christ (SYNC) is to see yourself in the flow of the story of the campaign he is spearheading. As you see yourself that way, a lot of things will be obvious to you even before you read them in the manual.

For example, if we see ourselves as life-bringers, channels of the water of life, we won't gossip. Gossip never brings life. It cuts people down. It does not heal--it creates new wounds! It goes against the campaign goals of connecting and blessing people. It works against the very things Jesus gave his life to promote! Long before we master the campaign manual, we know for sure that gossip has no place in the life of a campaign team member.

FAQs on having to live by a manual

1. If we live by a manual, doesn't that kill our human freedom?
We lived in Colorado for a while, and I learned one thing about skiing. When beginning skiers get out of control going down a slope, they never shout, "I'm free! I'm free!" On the ski slopes, control and freedom are partners not enemies. Because the veteran skiers know how to control their skis, they are free to enjoy the challenge and the spectacular scenery of the double black diamond ski runs (the most exciting and dangerous ones).
Same with God. The more we are under his control, the freer we get. His control is liberating. We can try to get out of his control, but that isn't "freedom." It's an out-of-control crash and a "free" ticket off the ski slopes, hauled off on a sled by the ski patrol.

2. Only bigots give unquestioning loyalty to a campaign manual. Are we supposed to be Bible bigots?

 
Was Jesus bigoted? No, yet he gave unquestioning loyalty to the campaign and its manual, all the way to dying for it. And he required the same unquestioning loyalty from his followers. He didn't want any people on his campaign team who were only half-committed or who would make up their own methods of doing campaign work.
One of the great myths of our century is that bigots believe in absolute rules while tolerant people don't. In fact, tolerant people absolutely do have some absolutes of their own. For example, "Thou shalt not tolerate racism," "Thou shalt not put any shame onto homosexuality," or, "Thou shalt not allow a wealthy, powerful man to extort sexual favors from staff members."
 
Self-styled "tolerant" people are on a campaign to promote these points. They take them as non-negotiable, absolute, universal. No excuses of personal background. No cultures where these might be OK. Always and everywhere, those things are wrong and unacceptable. Passing judgment on them and scorning those who practice them makes you a good campaigner, an exemplary person, not a bigoted or judgmental one. Thus say the tolerant people.
3. If we treat the Bible as a manual for our campaign work today, won't we be hopelessly behind the times? What about all the changes between then and now? 
Archeologists have not yet proved or disproved the theory that the cave man's club was actually invented by a cave woman whose husband cheated on her. Male friends of the victim later adapted it for hunting. 
Some things don't change. Hunting weapons do, as does all technology. Humans not so much. The non-negotiables in the manual deal with the human unchangeables.
In fact, the biblical non-negotiables may well turn out to be the wave of the future, exactly what we need to prevent destructive abuse of our new technological capacity. The jaw-dropping advances in technology are neutral in themselves, but that means their potential for harm is equal to their potential for good. If we ask, "Which person or group would want to use these advances to harm others, and why?" we are right back into the ancient human dilemma of using power to control evil, and the manual is 100% up to date.
 
4. Is everything in the manual non-negotiable? How do we know which things in the Bible rise to the level of non-negotiables?
 
Very good question, and people divide sharply over how to answer it. The entire history of writing creeds illustrates that. Without saying the SYNC approach is the best one, let us put it forward for consideration alongside whatever other views may already be familiar to you.
SYNC answers this question with the seven versions of they "Who Are We?" (W.A.W.) story. Non-negotiables are the things that make the story go the way it goes. For example, if Jesus is not the center of the story, the whole story falls apart. His centrality is non-negotiable. Or again, if people do not trust God enough to obey him even when he hasn't given them a full explanation, the story loses one of its main points. It becomes a different story. 
 
Of course, this is not a precise answer to the question, but that is intentional. The emphasis in SYNC is not on pinpointing how many non-negotiables there are in the Bible. It is on SYNCing with the God of the Bible as we know him through the panoramic story of the Bible (the "W.A.W. story") and through the personal instructions of his Spirit today. We just keep obeying whichever parts of the manual the Spirit highlights for us at any particular time. That is plenty to keep us busy without figuring out any total number of non-negotiables.