Ready. Set. #PokemonGo.
Well, I’ve heard some good things about this new Pokemon Go game. But I couldn’t help but wonder if at times, church leaders lead in the same way – on a hunt, rather than as competent leaders navigating a ship. Is there hope for the church? The answer is yes, of course there is. As long as leaders make the decision to plan instead of diving head first into ministry.
I have often wondered why in the business world, businesses that are successful put together solid business plans, yet within the church that element of common sense is missing. I know, I know, you have a “heart” for lost souls. Macy’s department store isn’t successful simply because they have a “heart” to sell dresses. Having a heart for God’s people is great – but a plan of action is a must! The Bible has many examples of strategic planners who took their time to plan, and it glorified God.
Let’s consider Nehemiah.
He was burdened by the destruction of the wall in Jerusalem. If you’ve read the book of Nehemiah you know he rebuilt the wall, but what steps did he take in order to accomplish this goal?
- He fasted and prayed before the Lord in order to get clear directions from God.
- He had to ask King Artaxerxes permission to leave. (Although he had God’s favor, Nehemiah still had to follow proper procedures)
- He asked King Artaxerxes to give him letters to present to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates River to ensure his safe travel. (Strategic Planning)
- After arriving in Jerusalem; he was there for three days and began to survey the wall. (He took his time)
- Nehemiah assigned people to begin rebuilding. (He used the right people for the right job)
- Once rebuilding began they faced opposition. People made fun of them and tried to discredit Nehemiah. (Satan will always come in and try to stop you)
- Nehemiah continued despite opposition.
- The wall was rebuilt.
The church I allotted to in Part 1. was a church in survival mode. We now attend a church that functions with a proper plan in place. I can tell you from personal experience; there is a stark difference. For one, in the church that was in survival mode, the pastor was very rude. He was not friendly and mistreated his staff members. In the almost two years we were there, we saw 8 associate pastors come – and go! How well do you function when you wake up in the morning late, then take your time getting ready, and find yourself running late? Would you say, you’re not very pleasant ? On the other hand, when you set your alarm, and take care of everything as planned before leaving, are you a nicer person?
In our current church, the leadership is much better. I’m convinced the staff is trained to memorize names. I am so amazed at how often I see staff members call church members by their first name.(Even my name and my name is hard to pronounce) We attend a large church so this is highly impressive to me. (This is part of the plan which allows church members to feel as though they are important to the church)
It’s not to say there are no behind the scenes issues at this church. I’m sure there are. But there are staff and church members who have been there over twenty years. That speaks volumes to me! Maybe they have problems, but it’s clear they’re willing to work through those problems for the good of God’s Kingdom. Having a proper plan in place helps you see a bigger picture.
What are some key fundamentals of strategic planning?
To be continued…