Leonard Sweet described the perfect storm facing churches today - the Tsunami of Postmodernity, the Hurricane of Post Christendom, and the Global Warming of Post Scale. He gave five principles for steering through the perfect storm.
1. Lift anchor and launch into the deep. While it seems counterintuitive, in a storm, the most dangerous place for a boat is to be tied to the dock.
2. Steer into the storm. Again, counterintuitive - the natural inclination is to try to outflank or outrun the storm. An example he gave was a comparison of a herd of cattle and a herd of buffalo. When a storm approaches a herd of buffalo will gather tightly together and face directly into the storm, where a herd of cattle will bolt and scatter. Much more damage is done to the cattle than to the buffalo.
3. Get rid of excess cargo. A timeless adage among sailors - remember Jonah? To survive a perfect storm we will not be able to carry excess baggage. In the following breakout session John York wondered if at times we haven't redefined the baggage as the boat. Clinging to the baggage is not the way to face a storm.
4. Lash ourselves to the mast. The mast represents the Master - we can survive any storm if we are lashed tightly to the master and let go of everything else.
5. Enjoy the ride.