If you are just joining us as we read through <a href="Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.
Knowing When to Say “When”
It’s never easy—pulling the plug on something that isn’t working or has lost its ability to strengthen and support your mission. Churches especially have a difficult time letting go of programs or ministries because the ties can be strong to tradition or making a change can rattle people and the status quo. But strong leaders understand the importance, the necessity, to look at programs and ministries through a lens with the bottom line—the mission—in mind.
Whatever it takes.
Geoffrey Canada understands this concept all too well. In chapters 6 through 9, readers feel the anguish, grief, struggle, pain, frustration, and perseverance Canada experienced as he worked and reworked the plan for Promise Academy. These chapters take readers through Canada’s personal struggles and triumphs as he built and grew the Promise Academy. Not everything worked—and some efforts that started out with great intentions ended in disappointment and disaster.
But Canada didn’t let disappointing outcomes and boisterous critics sway him from his goal to change the lives of poor children in Harlem. If something didn’t work, Canada had the courage to change it. He took risks, went out on a limb, and sometimes relied on intuition—all in a quest to support his mission.
It wasn’t always easy, but Canada was determined to do what was best for his mission.
The Orange Connection
Geoffrey Canada had a bottom line strategy that supported his mission—getting parents connected to the school and then involved in their children’s education. After some trial and error, Canada discovered that this was the key component, above all else, that made a difference in the academic success of poor children in Harlem.
Orange has a strategy as well—aligning parents and leaders to lead with the same end in mind. When these components are synchronized, faith grows for kids and teens.
Sometimes churches need to make the wise, and often difficult decision to let go of programs or change the way ministry has been done in the past to support and further the mission.
Think On This
What are the programs or practices in your ministry that no longer function to support your mission? Are there programs in your ministry that need to change or be eliminated for growth to take place? What are you doing to get parents on board? How can you assure that leaders and parents are working together to help kids and teens grow in their faith?