I’m currently reading The Emerging Church by Bruce Sanguin for one of my ministerial classes. Sanguin speaks lucidly about an Integral approach to church organization for the 21st century, and he got me thinking about how we, as the Integral community, are vision casting our idea of a world where Integralism has become the guiding worldview.
For those who may not be familiar with the term vision casting (in my experience, it’s most commonly used in spiritual communities), it is simply the casting of a vision for the larger community to consume. Vision casting is probably the most important step any leader can take to build their community and get buy-in for the worldview they want to realize.
Sanguin uses Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as well as Mahatma Gandhi as vision caster examples of how an Integral approach to fostering a tipping point in a community can be effective. The key approach they used was focusing on their vision, rather than the problems and folks who didn’t (and probably would never) “get” their vision. Simon Sinek’s comment in his TED Talk about disruptive adoption trends really hits this point home; he commented that had Dr. King said “I have a plan” instead of “I have a dream,” nobody would have listened to him. Gandhi similarly laid out his non-violent vision for an India free of British rule and helped to create that tipping point by focusing on what he believed that could look like.
That gets me wondering, what is our Integral vision, and how are we casting it for the larger society? What does our “end state” look like? Not in the abstract philosophical terminology, but how does an Integral world look in concrete, every day terms? I once had one of my ministerial mentors tell me “I love Spiral Dynamics, but nobody has ever been able to tell me how it’s useful in my ministry.” What makes the Integral vision better for the common person?
Moreover, what are our non-negotiables with the Integral mission? How do those tie in to the larger Integral vision? I think clearly laying these items out can help keep us from falling into the flatland / aperspectival madness, “What do those Integral folks really stand for, they think EVERYTHING is true!” trap.
I believe that if we can start to get really clear and accessible on our messaging, we can go a very long way toward the fabled tipping point. That’s what Dr. King and Gandhi did; they continued to focus on their vision of why their world was better, and kept repeating that message until they reached their own respective tipping points.
So, what would a realized Integral Vision mean for you in your day to day lives? What is good and appealing about that vision?