Our Guiding & Defining Ideas

When was the last time you played in a sandbox? If you’re like me, it’s been quite a long time. Yet it’s likely you recall what it was like to “play well with others” within the safe confines of the sandbox.

For the author of Leading from the Sandbox, the sandbox is a metaphor to capture important ministry ideas. They’re so helpful, in fact, I’d like you to see our Guiding and Defining Ideas, which I initially titled the Navigators Neighbors Sandbox illustration in light of this helpful work.

The illustration uses four powerful ideas as the sides of a sandbox. They define the boundaries of the organization—what is inside and what is not. Living within the boundaries of the following four ideas gives one a sense of empowerment for ministry and freedom to creatively use his or her gifts and abilities:

  • Calling: what we ultimately commit to accomplish
  • Central Ministry Focus: what we need to do day in and day out to accomplish our Calling
  • Guiding Principles: how we commit to operate
  • Preferred Culture: the ethos we need to accomplish the first three areas
In children’s sandboxes you will also find such tools as plastic shovels, rakes, and buckets for making sand castles. The Navigators Neighbors illustration reflects leadership tools that help us relate well to one another. They include:
  • Direction: where we are headed
  • Vision: what we see in the future
  • Strategy: how we move toward fulfilling our Vision
In short, our "sandbox" provides clarity about who we are, how we do what we do, what we concentrate on, what our preferred culture is, and where we are going.

In the coming blogs I’ll use this diagram to more fully describe the major contours of Navigators Neighbors. Living within the boundaries of these ideas should give you freedom to fully exercise your God-given design, creativity, and initiative for ministry and draw out your collaborative skills.

I hope you enjoy playing in this particular sandbox. What do you like best about it thus far?