Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tactical Recon: Rapport & The Human Element

It’s All about Human Contact

Christian Reconstruction was never meant to be impersonal but rather relational. Institutions are not persons in the sense that they cannot be related to as one would relate to another human being. You cannot build rapport with institutions. Institutions are comprised of people. If an institution is to be transformed the people of that institution need to be transformed first. 

The way this is accomplished is by building a positive relationship with its administrators.

For instance: The institution of a community’s judiciary is not some vague and impersonal institution. It is made up of real people; judges, commonwealth attorneys, defense attorneys, court officers, the DSS workers, even the staffers who work in the records department. Changing any institution requires the changing of its people. Human interaction is the key. That is where ideas are shared and policies developed. This is where CR beings. Any strategy which neglects or minimizes the human element is destined to fail.

The Challenge

In order to exact Biblical change in any culture one must first challenge the secular status quo of that culture. People are not easily convinced. They are not easily responsive to any changes in what they know or what they are used to no matter how detrimental it is to them. This is especially true when they are suspicious of those encouraging change.

Begin with the ‘Who’ and Establish a Rapport

Building rapport with people is the foundational framework for action. Build rapport and you can change the world. Positive interaction is the path to establishing trust. Without trust nothing of consequence can happen.

1.      Begin focusing on the individual.

2.      Get to know the people in your community.

3.      Integrate. Speak to all kinds of people who are situated within your community. Do not let race, or social status get in the way of your positioning goal.

4.      Introduce yourself to everyone, especially those in authority. As a minister this task is easy, but for a simple citizen it may be a bit more challenging.

5.      Don’t be afraid of initiating a conversation or visiting your community officials for no other reason than for a personal introduction. Talk to them. Engage them in conversation. Inquire as to their situation.

6.      Listen to them BEFORE you give anyone your opinion.

7.      Gather intel. Know where they stand on the issues before you put your foot in your mouth and sever the relationship before it gets started.

8.      Build a contact list. Take their contact info – give them yours.

Rapport Tactics

In Janine Driver’s book, “You Can’t Lie To Me”, the world renown body language expert for the CIA, FBI, ATF and the International Chief of Police, explains that in order to gain trust your body language and your intention must match. When speaking with people you must be open and welcoming in your posture. That means hands out of the pockets, arms not crossed, and no looking around as if you’re waiting for a helicopter to land on your head. You get the point.

Eye contact is also important. Aim for steady but not oppressive eye contact. Staring or squinting can get a bit creepy so be calm and relaxed. Driver advises that in order to gain trust one must lead with empathy by putting yourself in the other person’s situation. That requires listening as well as being transparent, or as Driver phrases it, “Being Human.”

She says,

“Being in rapport with someone [is] having them feel warm and trusting toward you [which] increases the likelihood that they well be honest with you….Building rapport convinces people that you are trustworthy and makes them want to help you…People in rapport with each other are predisposed to co-operation” pg 78

These tactics are essential if relationships are to be built. Once that is established then, and only then, can you begin to explore relevant hot topics of the day.

According to Christian counseling professionals, Sbanotto, Gingrich and Gingrich, there is an early, middle, and then later sequence for realizing a particular goal. Within our realm of CR it may look something like the following:

The Early Sequence

Initial contact: This is where the rapport building begins to take place.

The Middle Sequence

Commitment: During this middle sequence there is the development of a higher level of contact even a freedom to discuss ideas. This is the point where you might begin to introduce various CR ideas.

Intimacy: From this posture of willingness to discuss ideas there should be a growing Intimacy where deeper discussions being to emerge. At this stage there is a comfortable relationship between you and the other person. This is where your ideas can be further explored in detail. This is a critical point in your relationship. If you have developed a trustworthy rapport your ideas will at least be given audience.

Later Sequence

Implementation:  This is where you begin to find common ground as to implementing Biblical principles and policies, and where the application begins. At this point you will want to suggest a specific course of action hoping that your hearer will agree to its veracity.

Stimulation:  At this juncture your ideas not only resonate with your hearer, but that your hearer will be stimulated enough to share your ideas with others with the intent of implementing them within the community and possibly joining in an effort to bring these ideas to fruition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tactical Recon - Positioning: The Key to Christian Reconstruction

Whenever a plan is hatched, which relies heavily upon influencing people with new ideas, it must be realized that such an endeavor takes TIME. One of the problems with the modern CR movement is lack of patience. CR (Christian Reconstruction)  is not a quick fix. 

Long term planning is essential. Successes and failures need to be experienced. It may take years to gain respect and trust. Convincing the citizenry of your integrity and your willingness to be a part of the community, and a positive force in its well being, is a long term endeavor. Superficial involvement will accomplish nothing. You cannot simply enter into a community and dictate how you think it should be structured. If you go into CR with a big head of steam you will be shut out and no one will ever listen to you no matter how great your ideas are. Remember CR is about people. Care for people and they will care about what you have to say.

Read “Singleness of Purpose”

Maintenance & Monitoring

Once a strategy is agreed upon, and the plan is enacted, it must be maintained and monitored. Commitment to the long term is essential. Well meaning people begin all kinds of ministries but very few bring it to efficacious fruition. It is very easy to begin a thing, it is much more difficult to maintain it over time. Only after a certain amount of time has elapsed can a determination be made whether that plan is accomplishing what it was set out to do. That means concrete goals and measuring points must be first established before executing any CR effort. If you cannot measure a strategy, you cannot know if it is working. Sometimes results are evident immediately while at other times results are slow to come. Every result has its own time clock. Proper analysis, therefore, takes time. A projects means absolutely nothing unless it can be maintained and groomed into something effective. This is a long term effort.

How to Measure Positioning Success

Depending on your goal, success is measured differently. If the goal is community positioning and cultural influence, success is measured in a number of ways.

Ask first: “What does influence look like in the community?”

Do people seek your advice or opinion? 

Are they interested in your political analysis on current issues? 

Do they call on you when there is a decision to be made on certain community issues? 

Does the local store owner or postal clerk confide in you asking for some response to their situation or a community issue? 

Can you comfortably call upon any local or state wide government officials for a sit down?
Do they call upon you for a sit down? 

How often do government official ask you to join them for lunch? 

Are you able to address your community leaders by name? 

When in a crowd do community leaders, or state reps go out of their way to greet you or are you invisible until the next fundraising event? And do they greet you by name? 

Will the local newspaper editor print your letters without editing?

Are you asked to speak, or pray, at local political rallies, events or meetings? 

Does the dispatch at the local sheriff’s office, the staffs personal, the sheriff and his deputies know who you are; by name?

These are some of the ways you can know if you hold any clout in your local community. Visibility is the part of the success of community positioning. Positioning is getting into a community or a culture and visibly integrating yourself within that community or culture so that you are trusted. Only when people know you, and trust you, will they listen to you.

Nothing of Godly change can happen unless this happens first. I cannot stress this enough.
Get to know the people in your community. 

Here are some things you can do to position yourself in your community.

1.      Observe city, town, and county meetings. Rub shoulders with the officials. Ask questions. At first do not offer advice or opinion. Not yet anyway. Make yourself visible. Build trust.

2.      Join the Chamber of Commerce if you have a business or just observe their meetings.

3.      Apply with the county office to get onto a county committee. Serve in a community endeavor. Get to know the players.

4.      Go to school board meetings. This will assist in analyzing their policies and keep an eye on their budget.

5.      Many communities have art shows, festivals and various events all of which have a steering committee. Volunteer your time. Get to know the people. Gather intel. Be personable. Build a reputation of integrity.

6.      Introduce yourself to the local sheriff, postmaster and clerks. Visit the treasurer’s office. Learn his or her name and be able to recognize them in the marketplace so you can greet them by name. The treasure holds a critical position in the community.

The list of possibilities is exhaustive. Be creative. Get out from under the social media tyranny and away from the Face Book keyboard and get into your community and show yourself. Otherwise you are simply involved in a teapot tempest preaching to the choir. Nothing of importance will ever be accomplished.

Be; and then you can Do

Only when you have shown yourself trustworthy, as a knowledgeable individual with character integrity can you do anything of value.

You must first BE, so that you can DO.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tactical Reconstruction

Tactical Reconstruction aka Tactical Recon

With all the talk of Christian Reconstruction, (CR), and the duty of Christians to advance the Kingdom of Christ, there is more talk these days than real action. While disseminating information and ideas is good, even important, and usually begins the process of CR, it is not, in and of itself, enough. 

In fact, if all there is is talk, then it no longer amounts to CR or the actual work of Advancing Christ’s Kingdom. If CR discussions never amount to actionable and measurable results it cannot, by definition, be called CR. Perhaps it should be called “Recon Pontification”. CR must be actionable so that it can be measured to see if it has been effective. Only then can we claim to be reconstructionists.

What is Tactical Recon (TR)

CR must have concrete directives and goal all of which result in a measurable community change God-ward. Without the actual application of a concrete plan nothing of any consequence can ever happen. The introduction, execution and monitoring of a tactical plan within a given community is what CR should be about. Anything less is just cheap talk.
The Plan

Tactical Recon will periodically post in detail, various community action plans that have already been executed, are still being executed, or will be executed by Christian Reconstructionists locally, within the realm of the U.S., and in the international community.

TR will explain why these plans were considered, how they were executed, if they succeeded or failed and why, what might have been done differently for a greater impact and how are they being maintained.

TR will also set forth a “success barometer” so certain plans can be accurately measured. In other words, how does one measure the success of a certain community action program? Is every community action program measured by the same standard? What are the goals of the plan and are their benchmarks being set to know whether or not the plan is effectual? All these are questions that must be taken into consideration when advancing Christ’s agenda.
The Essential Questions

Whenever an action plan is considered one must first figure out the area(s) to target. And so we ask the questions of: Who? What? Where? When? How? and most importantly Why?
Who do we target, i.e. what group or institution?

What needs to be targeted and How do we propose to initiate the plan?

Where is this plan to be executed; locally, state-wide, politically, the clergy, community groups , law enforcement, home school groups, school boards, social workers, postal workers, businesses, etc?

When is the best time to execute the plan?

And Why are we seeking to address this issue with this plan?

Once these questions are answered CR can begin in earnest.

The Schedule

This Ambassador School Blog will take up these discussions concerning Tactical Recon by posting various Actionable Plans that anyone can execute in their own community. They will be detailed descriptions of What, Where, When, How and Why they were executed and the effects which they had, if any, on the community and its people.


“Positioning: The Key to Christian Reconstruction”