There never seems to be enough time in the day. I might be the only one feeling this way, but something tells me that’s probably not the case. I constantly feel like I am spinning multiple plates, giving them just enough momentum to complete a few more revolutions before I can get my fingers on them again. This may sound a little dramatic, but I think you get the idea.
Throughout my working years, I’ve learned a lot of things. But I’d argue that one of the most important things I’ve learned is this: Without a plan, nothing strategic is completed.
Sure, I might check a few things off of the list – go through my email, write a blog or two. But there is little that I accomplish that propels my vision.
For example, think about your staff meetings. You gather your team, congregate around a table and perhaps discuss something of the future, next steps, or priorities to make sure you are all on the same page. If you don’t prepare for these meetings, they often end up directionless and leaving your staff feeling confused on priorities and needed action. One member of our team describes these as “staff meeting squirrels”. Let me ask you a few questions:
- Do they start with honestly acknowledging where things are now?
- Are they rooted in a clear mission, vision and core values?
- Do they clearly lay out priorities for staff and what should be revisited later?
- Do they create accountability by identifying key deliverables, target dates and next steps for each priority?
Most churches approach annual planning with the same level of good intentions/lack of strategy that they do their staff meetings.
Proverbs 19:2 (ESV) says, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” I believe gathering the facts, planning ahead, and courageously seeing plans through is a biblical principle churches too often neglect.
At The Unstuck Group, we are passionate about helping churches develop a plan to take action to reach more of the unchurched. This is why we facilitate Strategic Planning retreats, the second phase of our 4-Phase Process.
Here’s a closer snapshot of what this process looks like:
1. We spend two full days guiding your team through the planning process.
This facilitated process helps you and your team dive into planning, logically and systematically blending together the strategic, operational and financial.
2. We provide you with the tools you need to assess progress on an ongoing basis.
Following our time together, we will produce key documents to help you and your team operate and move forward with your vision, primary customer and ministries top of mind.
3. We return 4-6 weeks after the planning retreat to help your team kick off the implementation of your strategies.
We will go through each initiative and help you strategically plan to execute those initiatives.
4. We coach your team through the implementation of your plans.
This is a partnership. We stick with you. As you move forward with your plans, we are available to help you maintain momentum and progress towards your goal.
Our team has seen this process really work with hundreds of churches across all denominations, sizes and locations. Tony Morgan dove into this topic in a recent podcast episode, “How to Fix your Church’s Planning Problems.” He talks through the key elements of an effective planning process and the reasons why churches have difficulty executing their strategic plan.
We would love to talk with you about taking next steps. Let’s start a conversation.