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Think Orange Group Blog Project: Chapter 6: Essential #1 Integrate Strategy

Today we are taking a look at chapter six of Think Orange entitled “Essential #1 Integrate Strategy.” The contributor for this review is Cash Hunter. Cash is the Pastor of Youth and Children at Woodruff Road Christian Church in Greenville, SC. Cash has been married for 6 years to his college sweetheart Kristy. Cash also authors a blog called Thoughts from a Youth Minister.

When you combine two influences you create synergy.

Chapter 6 of Reggie Joiner’s book “Think Orange” is the first chapter in 2nd part of the book Five Orange Essentials. In other words Integrate Strategy is the 1st Essential Joiner talks about. If you had a chance to read Orange Week from some other Children’s Minister Bloggers you already have an idea of the 5 essentials, and this blog group will explain them once again. I have the privilege of discussing Chapter 6- Integrate Strategy. 

As a Minister who has been in full-time Ministry for only 6 years you can say I am still pretty new at Ministry and still getting my feet wet, but I have learnd from the mistakes of others, and more so have learned from seasoned leaders like Reggie. In the two churches I have served and are currently serving I have had the challenge of being the Associate Minister over Youth and Children and at first I fought to keep them separated, until I wised up and realized I could have one Ministry feed the next one, which feeded the next one. In other words I “integrated” my separate ministries into one super ministry called “Family” ministries. But I didn’t realize I was doing that until I read Chapter 6 of “Think Orange”.

In his book Reggie says, “You need to make sure that everyone who leads with you is leading in the same direction”. I am now just getting the hang of that, but it is amazing how the Ministry has boomed, now that all our volunteers from wee-worship in toddler rooms to our High school ministry is seeing the importance of having a plan of action with an end in mind, and that is what “strategy” is. We are now intentional on how we do church, I give you an example. In our C2 kidz Worship (our elementary worship service) we take up an offering every week, now before we would collect some pennies, quarters, and every once in a while a dollar or two, but this year we are trying something crazy we are trying to raise enough money to build a well in Africa (just our C2 worship, just our offering on Sunday mornings). The cost of the well is about $4,000.00. Guess what? In just four week’s time when we launched this idea to our kids we have raised over $200.00 that’s an average of $50 a week, which means an average of a dollar a kid, not too bad. Last year I think we might have collected $500.00 the entire year in our children’s offering. That is what “integrated strategy” is. Our Small groups leaders, our parents, our children, and our worship leaders have all bought into building a well for kids in Africa who need clean drinking water.

Joiner goes into details about the different models churches use for their strategy. I can’t go into much detail you just need to read the book, but I would say that most churches use the department model, which means that every department (or ministry) is responsible independently for their programming, even at the church I’m at now that was there model, until I got our leaders and volunteers to buy into “Orange”. Now we practice a more integrated mindset where we have a team that is overseas our entire family ministry (preschool – high school). What happens is what Reggie Joiner calls the “Integrated Model” and everyone on your teams is on the same page and you get more done.

One Last thought. If you are going to have an “integrated strategy” you can’t do it just through email and phone calls, you need to have personal contact with your staff, volunteers, and parents. You need to get everyone in the same room to get on the same page. Some of you are afraid to meet with your parents, but your parents are a huge part of “thinking orange”. Just try it… get everyone in the same room and always remember to “Think Orange”

You can check out other posts from this project:

12 Responses to “Think Orange Group Blog Project: Chapter 6: Essential #1 Integrate Strategy”

  1. Wendy February 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Aweome idea with with collecting the offering with the vision of a mission work to result! I really like that you included the necessity of personal contact by email, phone and face to face. So important!

  2. Tom Bump February 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    One of the things I am wrestling with after reading this chapter was right in the very beginning where Joiner states, "An integrated strategy means that leaders and parents are leading with the same end in mind." As far as I can tell many of my parents have know idea what "end" they would like for their children besides the safe answers of "health, wealth and safety" And when it comes to our leadership, I don't see that we have an integrated strategy as well. So, there is great work to do and I admit, I'd like to take some time off with a few leaders and really go over this, my burden for making this happening is growing and its a bit overwhelming too. Joiner's other comment, "It's effectiveness of your strategy, not the scope of your mission, that ultimately determines your success." (pg.115) I understand that as leaders we are often to guilty of setting the course without bringing everyone who's on the team into the meeting to discuss what course we are taking. This is where I also struggle because I'm not sure if our leadership would be willing to even consider a new course, especially one where more open dialogue happens.
    Wow this chapter has a lot to consider.

  3. Barbara Graves February 8, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

    I am at the point where Cash says you need to get everyone in the same room. That is an accomplishment these days! But it's vital to bringing everyone on board to the same end, not one that is passed down through the lines with everyone's personal slant applied to it. This would be especially great for parents. I can "tell" my leaders and volunteers what we are doing and where we are going, to be Orange, I need my parents to first of all, to agree on the goal, and the agree to work together to accomplish it!

  4. Emily February 8, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    To me integrated strategy is probably one of the most challenging things with thinking orange. In the past, churches tended to have "ministry silos" where each ministry department (preschool, children, youth, adults) each did their own thing every week. There was not an overarching plan or strategy, and there was no "end product" in mind. With thinking orange, it requires all the ministry areas to be in alignment with one another. If you are a children's pastor, sit down with the youth pastor and found out what he thinks about the spiritual formation of the kids coming out of the CM. Found out what the expectations are. Find out what you are doing well, and what needs some tweaking. Find out what parents expectations/understanding are of each of the ministry areas. Once you have a starting place, it will be easier to figure out where you are headed.

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