Strategic Planning For The Local Church

By: Daniel Brown

*Special points that he mentions

1) Balance is where it’s at in everything of God.

2) To be a good leader you need to be a good planner.

3) Some of us imagine we are or are not good planners because of our personalities & characteristics. Remember, planning can be learned.

4) Sometimes we handle things spiritually when they were really structural in nature. We cannot come up with spiritual answers to organic issues & vice versa.

5) The question is not to plan or not to plan, planning is not where it is all at. Not planning some people feel is more spiritual. (Matt. 6:34 a scripture they use to say planning is not spiritual).

*The Bible is not biased in planning. It is very much in favor of obedience. Planning is an aspect of obedience.

1) Pastors tend to plan the wrong thing.

2) If you planning is out of kilt to what God has called for your plans are in vain.

3) God does a lot of planning. Scriptural examples: Jer. 29:11 & Isa. 4:24.

*Definition of to plan or to purpose – we have a great degree of intentionality. We want something particular to be done. Isa. 32:8 Noble man makes noble plans by noble deeds he stands.

I. What is planning?

a) Pastor should be involved in planning of this sort: church is not just a place, church is a whole process, environment. Planning is much more than legistics.

II. Life is not a well ordered alphabet or a sequence of numbers.

a) Life is a collection of odd geometric shapes that are somehow connected to one another.

b) The way we view the world will effect how we approach things.

c) Planning is not going from dot-to-dot. Remember these drawing books for kids.

d) Planning is all about exploring the options that are there. Don’t look for the “only” way to do things, look for the best way.

III. Strategic Planning – there are all kinds of ways to do things – study ways to do things.

a) God has already arranged certain things & we need to look at it & figure out what He has already suggested for us to do.

IV. Why Pastors Don’t Plan

a) Have to much to do.

b) I just don’t know what to do. These are the 2 most common complaints. Both of these are manifestations of poor planning. Both are victims of lack of strategic planning.

We cannot afford not to plan – to fail to plan is to plan to fail.

c) Don’t want to neglect prayer & study of the word to wait on tables.

d) What leadership planning is all about. Have a view to see things (issues) that are cropping up in your congregation.

e) Not spiritual to plan.

f) Difference in Pastors personal Ministry & the ministry of their whole congregation. There is a difference in doing the work of ministry & running a church (or business) that does the work. To direct a group of people is much more difficult than to direct ones own self.

g) Vision is “TOO” small. Vision to what church is. We plan for what we think church is. Sometimes pastors are event oriented rather than process oriented.

*A planner doesn’t need to be a (detailed) highly organized person.

*Sermon has 4 parts

1) study
2) points
3) illustrations
4) bring people to a decision.

V. What are you called to be as a church & what are you called to do & be a Pastor?

a) Pastor – know what your job is & is not.

1) Lead people in worship & in study of God.
2) Build people up.
3) arrange whole process called church.

*Planning is all about options. Strategic positioning is another phrase for planning. Stay alert to what God is up to.

VI. Elements for strategic planning. Psalms 78:72

a) Elements of a pastor – nurture of the people & guide them.

*Keys to meaningful strategic planning is good analysis

1) Analysis – look at the whole & break it down to its elements, rather than try to fix the whole church. Strategic planning focuses on all the different elements of what makes up church.

*Pastors tend to think of only four elements:

1) sermons – teach the flock
2) people in our church
3) curriculum – classes etc.
4) events – programs.

*Primary difference between thinking & feeling is language. Unless you have a term your mind can pass right over what it sees & never know it.

*Church Growth Checklist

1) Checklist – attending to things that need it.
2) Categories of goals.

VII. Elements of church

a) Leadership – develop increased credibility with congregation

b) Morale – of congregation (we’re all in this together.) When people serve together this promotes morales – comradery.

c) Sense of ownership – work at participative decision making.

d) What we look like to people who visit the first time. (what the church looks like).

e) Administration – internal office policies – don’t tell outsiders what your in-house policies are. These policies are designed to serve others out there.

f) Spontaneity different kinds of communications for different sizes of congregations.

g) How accessible are fellowship circles in our churches.

*Decide in a given category what you want to do. Then decide what is one way of accomplishing this goal.

*Church bodies should have systems just like our fleshly bodies do. To have a healthy body church we need to have healthy systems.

*A lack of church growth could be the result of a retarded system. Lack of growth in one system will retard the other systems. Examples:

1) Digest system – teaching & feeding to your people.

2) Skeleton system – internal equilibrium all people getting the same care & nutrients? We need an adequate circulatory system get all the care & nurture out to everyone equally.

3) Muscular system – enables body to move. Attitude of your church – a lot of loving & serving (you mean what you say everyone serves). Effective mobilization – best role for each person.

4) Waste system – our bodies have to let out the waste. An open system is what some pastors try to have. They try & hold on to everyone that comes into their churches.

*How to do the planning is easy, the what to plan is important.

(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)

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