Maximization: The church and its ministers and ministries operate at optimal levels of effectiveness and efficiency

Organizational Alignment and Integration – Why Most Strategic Plans Fail

Studies of various businesses and organizations reveals over 70% of strategic plans are never significantly implemented. My guess is this percentage is much higher in the local church. Why do most strategic plans never make it off the printed page to implementation? In my experience a lack of execution can frequently be traced to a failure to understand the power of organizational alignment and integration.

Organizational Alignment and Integration Defined

Alignment may be defined as the proper positioning of parts (strategies, programs, events, services, ministries, etc.) to achieve an overall objective. As a car with tires out of alignment pull the car away from the intended direction, a strategic plan without every ministry in the church pulling in the same direction can’t be successfully implemented.

Integration may be defined as the combination of two or more previously segregated or disparate parts into one unified system. Just as two oxen can individually pull 1200 pounds yet when yoked together can pull 3000 pounds, every ministry working in coordination and collaboration with each other will produce synergistic results.

Coordination is when two or more ministries sequence and harmonize their individual activities and schedules for the good of the whole church.

Collaboration is where individual ministries and leaders actively partner to achieve the church’s mission, vision and strategic plan by communicating with and serving one another.

Both coordination and collaboration are necessary skills for organizational alignment and integration.

The Ten Components of Organizational Alignment and Integration

To successfully implement your church’s strategic plan you must constantly be aligning and integrating the plan into the organization through ten components: Ministry Goals, Ministry Tactics, Processes and Systems, the Church Budget, Staff Structure, Church Values, Leader Development, a Communication Plan, Tracking and Measures, and Reporting and Accountability.

#1. Ministry Goals: Every ministry establishes measurable goals that support the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#2. Ministry Tactics: Every ministry establishes specific tactics and initiatives to accomplish the measurable goals that support the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#3. Processes and Systems: New organizational and ministry processes and systems are developed and existing processes and systems are modified to support the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#4. Church Budget: Church and ministry budgets are restructured to prioritize funding for tactics and initiatives that support the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#5. Staff Structure: New and future staff positions are developed and current staff positions are restructured to support the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#6. Church Values: The new values required to successfully execute the vision and objectives of the strategic plan are identified then communicated, elevated, celebrated and demonstrated.

#7. Leader Development: Plans are established for both centralized and decentralized leader development to provide the knowledge, skills, attitudes and habits required to accomplish the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#8. Communication Plan: Congregational and community messages are designed to speak to both the heart and the head of the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#9. Measures and Tracking: A scorecard of measures is developed along with a process for tracking the metrics that define successful implementation of the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.

#10. Reporting and Accountability: Church staff, church leadership and congregational venues and processes are established for reporting on results and to provide accountability for executing the vision and objectives of the strategic plan.


Once you have created your strategic plan the challenging and complex journey of implementation begins. As you do, remember your strategic plan will never move forward unless you intentionally and regularly tie together these ten components of organizational alignment and integration.



Posted on October 18, 2016

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5