“Why do you use the name The Elemental Group? Are these resources for third-graders?”
Funny! But nope.
We’re called The Elemental Group because of our research in the four critical elements all healthy and effective organizations had: Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination. We’ve found that churches and ministries—or any organization for that matter—that infuse these traits into their operating system, tend to create cultures that are more robust with longer-term impact on their communities, both inside and out. We lay this out in the book that forms the basis for who we are and what we do—Elemental Leaders: Four Essentials Every Leader Needs…And Every Church Must Have.
Watch short video interviews with author Dave Workman about the book and the Elements... along with a bonus video on “reluctant leaders”!
Integrity means that systems and processes are present and functional toward achieving the organization's goals.
A church or ministry with integrity has a clear sense of mission and purpose and maintains systems that leverage resources toward the fulfillment of its mission. What we do is in line with what we say, and what we say expresses our true values.
Passion means that people in the church support and are engaged in the mission.
When an organization has passion, people support the mission not only by saying they support it, but also by investing their personal time, effort, and money toward accomplishing it. When disagreements arise, they arise because people care whether the church succeeds and question whether current methods will ensure success. A widespread sense of shared ownership is evident in a passionate church or ministry.
Servanthood means that the organization demonstrates an outward focus.
When an organization is servant-oriented, energy is invested in meeting the needs of people, not just in running the machine. We want to survive so we can reach more people, not for the sake of surviving. Relationships within the church or ministry are healthy because people put the needs of others before their own.
Imagination means that the organization can change to stay relevant.
Imaginative churches and ministries can envision futures that differ from the way things have always been. They see that the world around them is changing rapidly and adapt to ensure that they are meeting the real needs of today. Individuals are open to new opportunities, and innovation is rewarded.
For sake of memory, the Elemental Group uses the classical metaphors of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air to represent these four key values.
Earth symbolizes Integrity, with the image of a firm foundation that also provides materials for building. An organization with integrity is grounded in a clear sense of purpose and maintains solid systems to ensure things are done well.
Fire represents Passion, the energy that drives an organization forward. People understand the vision and are working to achieve it. A widespread sense of ownership is evident. People are excited to be part of what is happening.
Water signifies Servanthood, as illustrated by Christ when he washed the disciples’ feet on the last night of his life (John 13:1-17). People in the church or ministry put the needs of others, especially people who are far from God, first.
Air represents Imagination and capacity for change—the ability of leaders to “blue sky”. The organization takes a creative approach to the future and welcomes new ideas. Leaders encourage creativity rather than stifling it with red tape.
All four of these elements—Integrity, Passion, Servanthood, and Imagination—will be evident in a healthy, growing church or organization. Your organization is likely stronger in some of these areas than others, but all must be active and balanced. Our primary assessment, the Elemental Inventory, is built upon those key traits...and all our tools reflect them in some way.
That is why we’re called The Elemental Group.
And if you’ve read this far, you’re a force of nature yourself! Class dismissed!