Men’s Ministry: Purpose First, Strategy Second, Structure Third

Men’s Ministry: Purpose First, Strategy Second, Structure Third
By Mark Howell

What comes first in Men’s Ministry? Vision or mission? Purpose or values? And where does strategy fit in?

Sound familiar? You’ve probably tried to sort this out more than once complicating matters is the fact that the programs you are running are really above-the-waterline indications of below-the-waterline strategic assumptions. You may not even realize those assumptions are there, and they may precede you, but without wrestling with them…you’ll see only limited impact. Why? Because the order of your development is out of order.

According to Peter Drucker, knowing what your business is comes first. For example, “Helping Men Grow in Spirit and Purpose” is shorthand for one men’s ministry mission statement. That statement should provide a clear understanding of that ministries business. And really, everything about their strategy and structure ought to make sense in light of the business they are in. Drucker said, “Only a clear definition of the mission (purpose) makes possible clear and realistic business objectives. It is the foundation for priorities, strategies, plans and work assignments…Structure follows strategy. Strategy determines what the key activities are in a given business. And strategy requires knowing what our business is and what it should be (p. 162, Inside Drucker’s Brain).”

How close does that sound to the situation in your ministry? Did a clear definition of the mission really come first? Or have you gone back to the drawing board at least once to try and bring clarity? Are you working with a combination of new and hand-me-down strategic elements and wondering why things seem out of alignment? What about the structure of your organization? Is it really based on your strategy? Or is it an echo of a previous generation?

Have you already clarified your mission for your Men’s Ministry? Only after you’re clear about the business you’re in will you be prepared to formulate strategy to do what needs to be done and then align structures to make the strategy happen.

From: web site. October 2009