Sunday, February 11, 2007

Disicpleship and Military Orders


Last Friday I had lunch with Colonel Dennis Isleta. Dennis and his wife Meg are members of our congregation at Fort Bonifacio. Dennis is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy and is a sharp man.

I asked him about a term the military calls “Commander’s Intent” (CI) a technique that the army has adapted in the 1980’s.

Here was his explanation: CI is a simple concept that the army uses. It shows up at the top of every order. It is the result that the commanding officer wishes. CI’s are usually kept short, simple and straight to the point.

What’s unique about CI is it does not specify a lot of detail as to how an operation is to be undertaken. The army has long since realized that many plans made by officers in an office don’t really work as well in the battlefield.

CI’s allow every enlisted man to be on the same page. At the same time they can be flexible in the field specially when their officers are out of commission. All they need to be sure of is that they accomplish the commander’s intent. The plan may change but the intent must remain the same.

Jesus knew this concept way ahead of the military. He gave us a CI: “Go and make disciples of all nations….” He never told us the details, specifics of how, where or even when. All He gave was the Commander’s Intent – “Go and make disciples”.

He trusted us to be flexible. He kept His CI short so that there was no possible way to misunderstand it. He made it simple so we can all be on the same page. He was straight to the point so there is no dilly-dallying. Christian leaders would do well to follow His example.

He gives us room to be creative for as long as we make sure we accomplish our Commander’s Intent – “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

Thank you Dennis for your insight.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

...and so, those who love God did in a wide variety of ways according to the creative work of the Spirit, resulting in a wonderful harmony of diverse shapes, colors, sounds, languages, and settings all declaring His praises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How else could we love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength, and with all our mind?