The Co-opting of Purpose

The Co-opting of purpose occurs when the primary intent of an activity is hijacked by another agenda, usually one that was not intended and is tangential. Usually this hijacking occurs, inappropriately, based up inappropriate or specious moral or ‘greater good’ argument.

Let us take an example.

Academic and other group theory has proven over time that group structure and intent lead to correct process, which has the optimal chance of yielding desired results. Put in the form of a process: Intent -> Goals -> Structure -> Process -> Best probability of facilitating the desired results.

We wish to convene a group to facilitate growth and conviction for mature believers. We will approach this by studying foundational Reformed Christian doctrine using a good text in Systematic Theology and supporting material. This will likely take at least a year (open ended).

Based upon the intent and goals, the optimal structure is determined to be:
– 8-9 members with a leader/facilitator
– a solid materials
– members of similar theological persuasion and level
– members available for virtually all group meetings
– members who are personally compatible.

In process, to maintain discussion at a constantly developing level of knowledge, ease and intimacy, membership must be closed – no new members after the first couple of sessions.

This structuring reflects the make-up of effective intermediate and advanced seminar groups irrespective of field, and is largely common sense.

Based upon these considerations, a group convenes with 9 members plus leader.

For an initial period this works well. Group dynamics develop as hoped, and beyond. Group and individual effort is encouraged. Material is covered well and the group is blessed with growth and deep conviction in all members. In other words – good stuff!

You are waiting for the other shoe to drop, right? You would be correct…