It’s not often that I get an extremely strategic piece of direct mail, but that’s exactly what happened yesterday.
Our family has benefitted greatly from the work of Ligonier Ministries over the years. Ligonier was founded by R.C. Sproul in 1971 and over the past five decades a community of smart people who love God and the Bible gathered around him. Together they have provided rich insights into what the Bible teaches and how it applies to our lives.
Since Dr. Sproul’s passing at the end of 2017, the ministry has worked hard to continue the work he began and to assure Ligonier’s supporters that the work is still important and still true to the principles that he established.
Yesterday’s mailing included a brochure titled “Unwavering Commitments.” The terminology immediately made me think of the term “Non-negotiable Principles” that I’ve been using lately to reflect how organizations need to step up from the platitudes often called “Core Values” to something more meaningful and real.
When I opened the brochure, I found this explanation: “Though the world around us is always changing, we strive to stay the course, advancing a global awakening of the historic Christian faith. The ministry has formalized these ten commitments toward that end, relying on God’s grace to remain unwavering as we steward the mission entrusted to us.”
In reading through the commitments, I think they represent a mix of “Non-negotiable Principles” and “Pillars”. With that in mind, and just using this one document, let me lay out the core elements of Ligonier’s strategy (in Purpose Pyramid form):
Purpose: Unfold God’s revelation of Himself so that people can understand who God is
- Deploy Emerging Technology (6th commitment)/Invest in Audio and Video (3rd commitment)
- Publish for Every Stage of the Christian Life (4th commitment)/Adapt to and Address Localized Needs (7th commitment)
- Gather Christians in Community (5th commitment)
- Maintain a Consistent and Courageous Commitment to Historic Christianity (1st commitment)
- Focus on Theology, Theology, Theology (2nd commitment)
- Find Trusted Global Partners (8th commitment)
- Equip Pastors and Leaders (9th commitment)
- Reach the Next Generation (10th commitment)
While this “marketing” piece isn’t designed to be the perfect “strategy” document, it does a great job of ensuring that all stakeholders understand the goal and how the organization will make decisions in working to achieve it.
When was the last time you so clearly communicated your strategy to stakeholders?