Local conferences, regional unions, and the NAD all have the responsibility of promoting a unified strategy among our increasingly diverse territory with an emphasis on the local church. Ellen White writes “If Christians were to act in concert, moving forward as one . . . for the accomplishment of one purpose, they would move the world” (Vol. 9, p. 221).
Where there is good alignment and tight hand-offs between the entities, the local church receives the training, services, and resources it needs to do good work. Where there are gaps in the delivery system, the local church feels abandoned and cheated. Successful cascading involves the following:
Behavior A – Accomplish Steps 1-4 in your own organization first.
A union can best help a local conference deliver the four steps of strategic excellence when the union has first successfully gone through those steps itself. Conferences can do likewise with individual churches and churches with individual church departments. Trying out the steps first gives you experience and alerts you as to potential sources of difficulty as well as help.
Behavior B – Become aware of the rich supply of resources outlined in this document, AdventSource, and other locations that can help you implement the Five Steps. Then, consider becoming a consultant or trainer. Contact the NAD’s Office of Strategic Planning and Assessment (SP&A) for details.
NAD’s intends to keep the web-site active with the finest resources available. The Office will also suggest model organizations throughout the NAD who have demonstration programs and are willing to assist other organizations in their own journeys to excellence.
Behavior C – Promote these Five Steps to leadership teams in each of the church organizations that report to your organization. Coach THEM through the Five Steps above once you have done them successfully. Make sure you provide adequate time, resources, and training for each Step.
Make the initial contact through the president (or pastor, if it’s a church); thenfollow-up up with a retreat for the leadership team with concrete “doables” after the retreat to keep momentum. Reaching God’s ideal as a church organization requires an extra commitment of time during initial stages. But if the organization and its leadership are patient and persistent, they will find that initial investments of time will pay for itself many times over.