When we schedule a trip, we make plans. We first decide on our destination, then look for a place to stay.

Next, we will likely decide on the transportation for travel to our destination. After these major plans are made, we begin to plan activities and perhaps even delve into meal planning and restaurant reservations.

Before we head out, we likely look at blogs and websites for the places we plan to visit, to learn about the area and what it has to offer. We also prepare by packing clothes, shoes, and other necessities appropriate for our destination and planned activities.

Kotan writes that she often gets negative feedback when suggesting churches need to undertake strategic ministry planning. “I frequently receive looks of anguish, verbal ‘ughs,’ or perhaps even gagging sounds.” Church leaders often have unfavorable feelings about strategic planning. They have been falsely led to believe that strategic planning is for corporations and not the church.

In Strategic Planning to Carry Out New Expeditions, Kotan shares five main components of a strategic ministry plan and how churches can begin their journeys by creating their own plans.

What Readers are Saying

Kay Kotan has done it again! Here is another excellent and timely resource empowering the local church to develop its own strategic road map to be in ministry. Kay provides clear and practical guidance, making what could be an overwhelming task an exciting expedition.  

Jason C. Stanley, East River District, Virginia Conference of the UMC

Does your ministry ever feel like a ship out at sea – bobbing around without any clear direction? Kay Kotan’s book, Strategic Planning to Carry Out New Expeditions does a wonderful job of explaining elements of strategic ministry planning and providing church leaders with the framework needed to move forward. This resource should be given to all members of the church leadership team so they can have conversations about intentionally guiding their ministries toward God’s future. 

Ken Willard, West Virginia Conference of the UMC

I am never disappointed with a Kay Kotan book and Strategic Planning to Carry Out New Expeditions is no exception. Outlining five elements of strategic planning (core values, mission, vision, SMARTER goals, and objectives), Kotan clarifies how these elements lead to alignment, increased energy, improved giving, and easier decision-making. While the concept of strategic planning is often met with groans in churches, as Kotan acknowledges, it is critical for the vitality of churches and expeditions. This book clarifies why strategic planning is essential for realizing God’s dreams for a community of faith. I look forward to using and recommending this resource to the congregations I walk alongside. 

Jaye Johnson, Iowa Conference of the UMC

Are you feeling stuck? Is your church lost in the wilderness? Preeminent congregational coach Kay Kotan will guide your church’s leadership into faithful and fruitful ministry planning in her new book, Strategic Planning to Carry Out New Expeditions. Journey with Kay as she takes your team step-by-step through an accessible process of discerning Christ’s dreams for your church and then mapping out a plan to make a God-sized impact.

Blake Bradford

District Superintendent, Arkansas Conference of the UMC


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