Integrate Strategy: Align leaders and parents to lead with the same end in mind.
When driving through a construction zone, orange traffic cones are critical to help drivers steer in a specific direction. Strategically placed cones show drivers where they should go, and they work together to have a greater influence. Imagine just one lone cone guiding a driver through a 10-mile stretch of construction, or if the cones were scattered on the pavement pointing drivers in different directions. The result would be chaos, frustration, and unfortunate crashes. Construction workers know the importance of having an integrated strategy to keep everyone safe on the road.
Integrated Strategy: a plan of action that synchronizes with others.
As an Orange Essential, this implies combining multiple influences, primarily those in the home and church, working off the same page for the sake of what you want to accomplish in the hearts of the next generation. In ministry, a lack of integrated strategy will yield the same result as a lack of orange traffic cones: chaos, frustration, and crashes between leaders and ministries.
When you integrate strategy:
- It magnifies everyone’s focus. One of the most critical discussions you can have as a team is to decide where you really want to lead people. Jesus was always clarifying the end, keeping the focus. He had a way of zeroing in on what really mattered. Nehemiah rallied an entire nation to hyper-focus on a clear mission. The strategy he communicated connected every leader and parent, every tribe and family, to their role in building a wall. An integrated strategy enables leaders and families to understand exactly how they connect to the mission. It gives parents and leaders a powerful tool to use in effectively evaluating how everything should connect together and keeps everyone on the same page.
- It synchronizes everyone’s effort. One of the most common struggles with churches attempting to partner with families is complexity. When ministries become silo-driven, they’re not only competing with each other, but with the family unit itself. You will never get everyone on the same page until you consistently get everyone in the same room. A centralized team that integrates programming for children from birth through graduation drives everything that happens for kids and teenagers as well as drives the master plan on how to partner with parents.
- It expands everyone’s capacity. No one should do ministry alone. Our capacity is increased when we work with other leaders who like to integrate. When you combine your efforts with other good leaders, it makes you a better leader and increases your own capacity.
- It will expand the capacity of other leaders. The success of one ministry fuels the success of another. Nehemiah rallied a community to do something that was beyond its capacity for the sake of a generation that would have been lost. Nehemiah knew that someone had to be willing to own the vision and live the strategy. You can’t manage people to be on the same page; you have to live together on the same page.
- It will expand the capacity of families. Two combined influences can make a greater impact than just two influences. If the church gets serious about partnering with parents, it will do more than just double the impact in a child’s heart—it will go a long way toward changing the next generation. Think about your mission and remember the mission of the family. Then consider what other potential partnerships exist that could help you demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.
To read more about how to integrate strategy in your ministry, check out Think Orange by Reggie Joiner.