A few months back our Exec Pastor, Charles Dishinger, gave me a framework he had acquired from somewhere else. The framework was called a Strategic Alignment Pyramid. The pyramid was blank because it was meant to be filled in by whatever leader is engaging the tool, and to personalize it for their business or organization.
It really got me thinking about how we break up strategy and alignment, and how each person can truly contribute to make a difference.
So on the screen you’ll see a simple framework of something we’re beginning to think through for our church, and there fall into these 3 main areas:
Section 1 – Foundation
Section 2 – Direction
Section 3 – Action
I like the order of these, because like most well meaning people, we all like to get things done. We like to not only take ownership, but make something happen through free enterprise and our god-given entrepreneurial skills.
The problem with that thinking sometimes is that we don’t take enough time to sit back, think, and truly understand the ramifications of our actions and true next steps. I heard this quote a few weeks back and I’m taking the time to sit back and think through what it means for me, and I wonder what it means for you:
SLOW leads to SMOOTH and smooth leads to FAST.
FOUNDATION – Core beliefs – Mission – Replication/Making Disciples
DIRECTION – Vision – Organizational Goals – Strategies
ACTION – Ministry Priorities – Personal Priorities
What starts off as a belief system morphs to be something much bigger like a mission and how to replicate it. But if you’ll notice what is made bigger also shifts to go back to being smaller. So this big mission and strategy, comes back down to personal priorities and how we as individuals contribute to the mission.
So I want to share a passage of scripture that will give us an example of how this works with our spiritual lives.
Jeremiah 29:4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
So if we take our pyramid example, we can base the Core Belief that sustains us as verse 11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This is why so many people love this verse, because we can find so much hope in this, but hope should spring something up in us as well.
So what does this mean for us, what should our Personal Priorities be in light of this foundation of God’s plan for our life?
For the people of Israel it was laid out for them, and they’re the same lesson we can learn:
- Walk in reality – we are going to be here for 70 years
- Lead your family well – raise our kids and model for them healthy family
- Seek the good of your city – pray for our enemies, when they are blessed we are blessed
- Don’t get distracted – our friends have good intentions but they can also distract us from staying focused
- God has a plan – his ways are not our ways, trust in that
- Check your heart – God knows when we are earnest
To be completely transparent, I’ve shared this message at the Buda and Dripping Springs campus, but each with a twist on where those campuses are today. For our North and Online community, I wanted us to focus on #1 – Walk in Reality