I’m reading Simple Church by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger right now. It’s a fascinating book and if you haven’t read it, I would strongly recommend it.
One of the things that have stood out to me was about how the Simple Churches he has studied have had church alignment. That means that every department and ministry is completely aligned with the Church vision and mission. Now, this may seem like a “duh” statement because that is how all churches are, right? Well, that is what I thought at first but as I read and as I have reflected on my past ministry, I have realized that alignment is not always the case.
In fact, at 2 other churches I have worked at, our Student Ministry department had a different vision and mission than the Church. It wasn’t completely off, but they were different for sure. Because there wasn’t alignment amongst the whole church and the ministries, it caused a lot of discord and plenty of frustration. It was not healthy for the church as the ministries and the church leadership had different ideas of how to be successful and effective.
At New Life, however, we state that our goal is to create safe places for people to Discover God. It is part of our 3-D strategy of Discover, Develop and Deploy. To me, this is perfect as it clearly shows a direction and a path. People discover God, then develop that faith so that we can deploy and do kingdom work!
Because of this clear path and us being unified in purpose and direction, there is NO need for me, as the Student Ministry Pastor to create a whole new vision for my student ministry. We are united and aligned in purpose and direction.
To be honest, because we were aligned, it is more freeing. I know that from top down, the church is moving in one direction and that all the ministries involved are following that path. So, if I have to say “no” and “yes” to something that doesn’t fit our 3-D vision, I know that it will be backed by the church.
So, what about you? Do you feel aligned with the overall direction of the Church you work at? Why or why not?
If you’re not aligned, what do you have to do to become so? Share your comments and experiences below so we can all learn from each other.