If Martin Luther King read the article “’Strategy’ Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be” in the January issue of the PNL I’m sure he would be dismayed.
However, if you read about MLK’s involvement in the civil rights struggle and his goal of a national civil rights bill you will see that strategic planning, or whatever you want to call it, was an integral part of King’s work and the civil rights movement. Without well tught out plans, goals, and leaders, King and the civil rights movement would never have achieved the goals they set out to.
The Children by David Halberstam is an excellent book to understand how faithfulness and effectiveness are both essential to social justice struggles. The Children is the story of the young people who met in the 1960s and went on to lead one of the most dramatic movements in American history.
They came together as part of Reverend James Lawson’s workshops on Gandhian techniques of nonviolence—eight idealistic black students whose families had sacrificed so they c e ould go to college. And they risked it all, and their lives besides, when they joined the growing civil rights movement.
From the first sit-in to protest segregation of Nashville lunch counters to the Freedom Rides to desegregate interstate buses it was these same young people who led the bitter battle into the Deep South.
Faithfulness and effectiveness are not mutually exclusive. If we are to achieve our goals we need to give equal weight to both.