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Developing a Strategic Plan for Your Church

developing a strategic plan for your church

Church Consultant Gavin Adams has a series of articles on strategic planning at his site Transformation Solutions. This is the second in a series of four artciles on developing a strategic plan for your church.

Developing a Strategic Plan for Your Church

The second portion of our strategic planning process follows a similar plan as our first segment. The steps to developing a strategic plan for your church proceed in this fashion through a series of questions:

1. How will we succeed?

Our first step in the strategic planning process defined success (mission and vision). This segment answered the “what” of success. Now we turn our planning to the “hows” of success. How will we succeed?

As you already know, church success is defined by life change through the love and power of Jesus. To simplify our strategy to the irrefutable minimum, we are trying to Great Commission our community.

How can we do that best? I believe the answer is through steps, not programs. We must build ministry models of movement, not moments. Just as the “renewing of our mind” is a process, we should build ministry models to facilitate movement. That’s what spiritual formation and discipleship pathways attempt to do.

How will we succeed? By creating a model that moves people through a discipleship process.

2. What specific areas need addressing? How should they be prioritized?

After redefining the “how” of success, we focus on the specific areas that are working and not working on our discipleship pathway. After evaluating everything we do in light of success, we can decide:

    1. What should we keep doing in its current form?
    2. What should be retained, but needs some revitalization to work within our model?
    3. What should we add along the continuum to help people move through the process?
    4. What should we quit doing altogether?

3. What is our specific plan of action?

With the how’s of success defined and our current reality evaluated against our “how,” we can make specific plans to move our organization from where we are to where we hope to be. These particular plans are the building materials for our bridge to the other side.

Perhaps you’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Our plans of action follow a similar path:

S) Make the plan Specific and Sequential.
M) Decide how you’ll Measure the plan as it’s placed in action.
A) Ensure the plan is Attainable.
R) Consider how your plans align to your values as to keep your steps Relevant, and finally
T) While the timeline may shift during the process, it’s essential to begin with an agreed-upon Timeline for accountability and expectations.

4. What are our departmental plans?

The final piece of this strategy development section is to include everyone by outlining departmental plans. Excellent strategic planning touches almost every person and process in an organization. Therefore, it’s essential to include everyone in the process.

Developing a strategic plan for your church

From this point, all that is left is a more granular look at tactics and actions and measurement considerations.

This article on developing a strategic plan for your church originally appeared here, and is used by permission. Gavin created Transformation Solutions to help ministry and marketplace leaders progress from innovation through implementation. He dedicates his time to helping leaders discover potential problems, design strategic solutions, and deliver the preferable future.