I recently filmed three short sessions Be Strategic for Effective Ministry Planning with Kay Daigle at Beyond Ordinary Women. Since ministry planning can seem so overwhelming and has several aspects to it, we thought it would be a good idea to follow up with a series of blogs on the topic.
Please don’t let the words Strategic Ministry Planning send you running for cover. It is a wonderfully productive and revealing exercise that will benefit your ministry and all involved with it.
Strategic Ministry Planning is the process of designing a purposeful plan for your ministry and then developing a pathway to get there. It is beneficial for all kinds of ministries and organizations from women’s ministry to missions to non-profits and everything in between.
We all want better ministries. No one wakes up and thinks, “I hope nothing productive happens at work today.” Or, “I don’t want my ministry to make a difference in this world.” No! We want better, more impactful ministries. Right?!
Start right where you are. Look at where you are now and where you want to go; then determine how to get there. This process involves prayer, evaluation, time, vision and communication. Whether you are just starting a new ministry, new to an existing ministry or you have been involved in a ministry for a while, start with prayer. Pray, asking God to give you His vision for the ministry or organization.
God is a God of order. Look at the incredible detail and order involved in the creation of this world. It wasn’t a random process. Look at the building of the Old Testament wilderness tabernacle and you see detailed plans and instructions and even job descriptions. So, ask God to open your eyes to the possibilities and plans He offers for your ministry.
Depending on your situation, it might be a good idea to sit down with your Pastor or advisory board or the person you report to and let them know about the process you are undertaking. Ask him or her how he or she sees the ministry fitting in or enhancing the overall ministry or mission of the church.
If it’s an organization, include those whom you want or need to be an integral part of the planning process. If there is already a ministry team in place, meet with them and include them as you move forward. This could include a series of meetings over the course of a couple of months, or two half-day work retreats. You want everyone going in the same direction!
The second part of the preparing process is evaluation. Look at what is happening in the ministry. Ask the ministry team or volunteers for their honest feedback too. What is working? What isn’t working? Are there any gaps in the ministry? Is it draining the budget and why? Do we even have a budget? Do you have trained leaders? Get a snapshot of how people are being impacted by the ministry. If this is a new ministry, evaluate what has been done in the past or what needs are not being met and why.
Time and people and resources are too precious to just wing it when it comes to developing a ministry. Being intentional, forward-thinking and flexible will bring you peace as you execute the plans and your ministry will have more of an impact on your intended audience. This time spent praying and evaluating will help crystalize your vision; what you truly sense God wants to accomplish through the ministry. It will also give rise to things you want to see achieved through the ministry–your goals.
Next up: Planning for Strategic Ministry.