I know I’ve already posted about Integrated Strategy today, but I had to share this. If you don’t read any more of my post (but you want to, don’t you?) click over here and read this post. It’s a post Chad Swanzy, my Student Pastor wrote of the weekend. Probably the best post I’ve read dealing with the conflict between student ministry and children’s ministry. Hands down the best post I’ve read about this from the student ministry perspective (maybe the only). It’s raw and honest. He asks some very poignant questions worth wrestling to the ground. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten more comments than he has already. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, do so now. My thoughts are below.

Chad verbalized the things student pastors and children’s pastors often think but never verbalize. His challenge at the end of the post was “Maybe as we get the junk out we can have real dialogue about it.”

He spoke of what we want versus what they want. They’re essentially the same. However, the junk comes in from differences in methodologies and points of view. I think my favorite line was:

You think we are irresponsible and reckless we think you’re over protective and hyper sensitive.

Integrated Strategy is about sitting down to the table and developing a strategy – together. However, it may be possible that some stuff needs to happen before we can start talking strategy. Maybe we need to try to see things from each others point of view. We don’t have to be best friends and do everything together, but I believe that we do need to trust each other. As a children’s pastor, I HAVE to trust my student pastor. I have to go beyond “giving him the benefit of the doubt” and believe in what he’s doing and his ability to do it. In the same respect, a student pastor has to respect me. He has to believe in me and trust that what I’m doing is effective and best for OUR kids. If any of that is missing, we’ll never do this strategy thing. We’ll never “integrate.”

This throws a lot more out there to be evaluated. If we truly believe that the best way to impact kids for the long haul is an integrated strategy, then what I said above has got to happen. If it can’t. If teams won’t play nice, then maybe it’s time to fine a place where you can. The next time your church is hiring a student pastor, demand to be a part of the interview process. Same for the student pastors.

Put that in you pipe and smoke it.