there’s no such thing as a perfect plan

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It shouldn’t take a long time to develop a strategic plan, but many leaders fall into the trap of overthinking and overplanning. 

You can avoid execution for a long time in pursuit of the “perfect plan.”

No strategic plan is:

  • So good it can’t fail
  • A replacement for a well-structured, high capacity team
  • A win in and of itself

Organizations that look really strategic and that get stuff done know this to be true:

The secret is in the execution of the plan.

Consistent Strategic Obedience

One of our ministry consultants, Paul Alexander, is the executive pastor at Sun Valley Community Church in Arizona—one of the most creative, strategic, and effective churches we know that reaches people who are far from God and helps them take next steps towards Christ.

When asked what’s driving the momentum at Sun Valley, Paul’s response was, 

“Consistent strategic obedience.” 

It’s not that they have the perfect strategy. There’s no silver bullet. The momentum has come from making a plan and consistently working the plan. 

Sun Valley kept momentum through the pandemic in large part because before it arrived, they already had great clarity around who they were, where they were going, and how they were going to get there.

When the crisis hit, they were already clear about God’s call and where they were focused. Paul said they had a “stubbornness or resolve” for what God had called them to—and that allowed them to adjust the plan as needed. Now on the other side they’ve seen their momentum accelerate.

Plans Are Not Static

The best plan is simply one underpinned by a clear vision (the why) and clear strategies (the how), being executed by an aligned team (the who). 

The best plan is simply one underpinned by a clear vision (the why) and clear strategies (the how), being executed by an aligned team (the who). Click To Tweet

We need to assume the plan will have to change as it’s executed, since we learn more as we go. 

This is one of the ways the Unstuck Process provides a unique service to churches:

We help you plan quickly—you’ll assess ministry health, create a strategic plan for ministry, and build a plan to restructure  your staff team to the ministry strategy, all in 90 daysbut then we walk with you through implementation of the plan. 

That’s the key: Consistent strategic obedience over time. 

If you build what you think is a perfect plan, but you don’t execute, no ground is gained. 

And unfortunately, ground can actually be lost by poor execution, especially if you had successfully rallied your team around it. The disappointment can create disillusionment. In the future, when you try to plan again, you’ll likely hear, “We’ve tried that before and nothing really happened.”

It’s better to create an imperfect plan, execute and adjust quickly—every time.

We help pastors clarify where God is calling your church to go in the future and define how you'll get there—and then we coach you as you lead change.

Interested in learning more?

Sean Bublitz

For more than 12 years Sean has served in various roles in weekend services, arts and senior leadership at Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He has a passion for creativity, problem solving, and quelling the status quo. He and his wife Jill live in Granger, Indiana with their 5 kids.

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