7 Frustrating Symptoms of Doing Ministry Without a Strategy

church strategy

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Not Having a Plan is the Same as Having a Plan to Do Nothing

I’ve met lots of church leaders who take pride in the fact that they don’t do strategic planning.

They insist they rely solely on God to move. But ironically, not having a plan is the same as having a plan to do nothing.

And when you have a plan to do nothing, there are some natural consequences. I’ve written about these consequences for years, and I still see churches operating like this every week.

church strategy

When you don’t have a plan…

1. You give the loudest person license to decide what happens at your church.

After all, anyone who claims God told them what your church should do gets a voice.

When you don’t have a plan, you give the loudest person license to decide what happens at your church. Click To Tweet

2. True leaders leave your church once they realize there is no plan.

They can’t function in their giftedness at your church, so God leads them elsewhere.

3. You spend more time in meetings.

Where there’s no strategy, meetings flourish.

Not having a plan is the same as having a plan to do nothing Click To Tweet

4. You set the stage for a split.

Someone with a plan rallies other people looking for a plan and they go plan together…  somewhere else.

5. You never celebrate success.

No one even knows it looks like because success have never been defined.

6. Your church doesn’t unite in prayer.

You make it difficult for people to know how to pray. And without specific, faith-stretching prayers, there’s no challenge for people to rely on God’s power.

7. People don’t give.

People save their financial gifts for organizations that actually have a plan for the money they receive.


At the very core of planning is faith. Hebrews 11:1 says,

“Faith is the confidence in what we hope for and the assurance of what we do not see.”

God gives the leaders of his church a vision or direction, our faith (confidence) that such a vision is possible is directly related to our willingness to enter into a time of planning and preparation.

Are you feeling any of these frustrations? It could be a lack of church strategy. Planning may not come naturally to you, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t want to stretch you in new ways and help you become a better, more effective leader.

Planning may not come naturally to you, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t want to stretch you in new ways and help you become a better, more effective leader. Click To Tweet

To be honest, we’re seeing that a lot of pastors aren’t prepared to address key ministry challenges. From finding clarity around your vision and strategy to building a plan to develop more leaders, an outside perspective is incredibly valuable to health and growth of your ministry.

That’s why we created The Unstuck Process

Our team partners with your church to walk you through key conversations to help you lead your church where you want to go. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out what we do here.

Or, explore what it looks like to work with our team.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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