Best campaign manual ever
And it is not what you think
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 God's campaign has gone over the past 4000 years--what people did, what God did, and what that tells us about participating in the campaign today.
Jesus Christ is the central figure even though he does not enter the story in human form until about 80% of the way through. Then he takes the whole campaign to a new level.
To See Yourself iN Christ (SYNC) is to see yourself in the flow of the story of the campaign he is spearheading.
What Jesus expects of team members
Jesus doesn't expect team members to memorize the manual or perfectly comply with it. He does expect us to know what campaign we are in, who is in charge, and what basic non-negotiables he has laid down.
As Campaign Director and Spearhead, he also expects us 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.
They can do a lot of damage to the campaign's reputation if they identify as campaign workers but go against what he died to promote--connection, healing, and blessing. That's why we read the manual and talk to other campaign team members about it.
The whole SYNC site helps campaign team members appreciate and live by the manual. Explore any of the menu tabs and drop-downs, especially the seasonal "tool kits" under "Resources".
As you explore, don't take the Sunday School view of the Bible, like it is just a stack of individual stories, each with a good moral for us. The Bible is actually one long story about God's campaign to save the world from itself. Let the SYNC site help you open yourself up to that story.
Why the manual is NOT the key thing
As you open up, a lot of things about the campaign will be obvious to you even before you read them in the manual. For example, if we see ourselves as workers in a campaign to bring life, we won't gossip.
How could we? Gossip never brings life. It cuts people down. It does not heal--it creates new wounds! It goes against the campaign goals. Long before we master the campaign manual, we know for sure that gossip has no place in the life of any campaign team member.
But suppose we are naturally gifted at gossip and have refined our gossip skills through years of practice, what then? How do we break old bad habits? We concentrate on our participation in God's campaign, not on the habits.
Gradually it gets more and more obvious to us that the old habits are out of SYNC with God's campaign agenda and his assignments for us. We quit feeding those habits and they wither away.
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?