How Christ the King Lutheran Church Prepared Its Team for Strategic Planning


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Are you ready to take your church leadership team through a strategic planning process?

Having made the decision to invest time and energy into aligning your team, you have an incredible opportunity to set the tone for the experience — and even to determine how effective it will be.

We recently led Christ the King Lutheran Church in Fallbrook, California in our strategic planning process, and we were impressed by the way lead pastor Mark Johnson prepared his team.


In the weeks leading up to my on-site visit, one thing became very clear: They were serious about this strategic planning weekend. They had done their due diligence searching for the right fit in a consultant group. They were ready to give it their full hearts.

As we exchanged phone calls, emails and texts in preparation for the big weekend, Mark shared with me that he had started sending his planning team a daily email on a biblical leadership principle or a personal insight in preparation for the process, along with a brief prayer. He sent one daily for the 30 days leading up to their planning retreat.

When the time came to plan, the team’s hearts were prepared, the process had been lifted up to our heavenly Father leading the charge. I, as their facilitator, sensed that I had been drenched in prayer by this team.

As an outsider, I was so encouraged by the unity of this church’s leadership. They recognized that planning is first and foremost a biblical principle, and that we need to seek God’s wisdom for every plan we make.

Their strategic planning time was one of the most fruitful and energizing I have ever been a part of. We knew God was guiding our discussions and leading our steps.

I asked Mark if I could share a few of the emails he sent to his team with you, for other pastors to consider as one model for preparing their teams for strategic planning.


Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Father, we seek you first and foremost as we begin to think about what it might mean to develop the vision for Christ The King. Our vision is first on you and what matters to you…may your Holy Spirit fill each person on this team and each person who belongs to our church and those who have yet to connect to this body…help us to hear from you first and follow you…in Jesus’ name, amen.


“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Ephesians 6:10-11

Gracious God, thank you that our strength and power rests in you. Teach us by prayer to be protected and equipped by your full armor, from head to toe, covered in your graces. We pray for protection for our Vision Team, for our church and for our community that the schemes of the devil will be thwarted. Bring unity, grace, power and renewal to the ministry you have called us to. Thank you for the answers to these prayers! In Jesus’ name, Amen.


“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”  Luke 9:23-24

Lord Jesus, the call to be a disciple is an “all in” call…to deny our natural inclinations, take up a cross of challenge, difficulty, even suffering is not where we naturally want to go. But following you is nothing short of amazing and life changing. Lord, we lose our lives to you anew today and we trust that you will hold safe in your hands what we hold dear that we might truly know abundant life in you…thank you for calling and choosing us! In your name, Amen.


Photo credit: Eric Rothermel via

Ron Baum

Ron has served three southern California churches over the past 28 years in various roles from Youth Ministry to Adult Ministry. Currently, Ron serves as the Executive Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in the Temecula Valley. Ron is part of the teaching team, as well as, a guest speaker at leadership conferences and marriage retreats.

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