We blinked and it was summer and now the crisp fall season is in full swing.  Before this season slips away, be sure your leadership makes time for the critical work of strategic ministry planning for next year.  Have you calendared and begun to plan your church’s strategic ministry planning retreat with your leadership team (board/council) yet?  Have you planned for your staff’s (paid and unpaid people leading ministry areas) ministry planning retreat to set objectives for the goals set by the leadership team?  Or, perhaps, does all of this sounds overwhelming or even like gibberish?  No worries, Strategy Matters is your go-to guide to plan, execute and follow up on a strategic planning retreat.  You can find the book here, the webinar here, or a special combo package for both here – be sure to use the coupon code SMPSHIP in conjunction with the special combo package!

To help you get in the spirit of strategic ministry planning, here are the Top Three Misses and Top Three Opportunities when it comes to strategic ministry planning.

Top Three Misses

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”  Alan Lakein

  1. When leadership does not make strategic ministry planning a part of their annual rhythm, they are much more likely to lose sight of their purpose/mission and likely operate reactively or with a management focus rather than having an intentional missional focus.  
  2. Without a strategic planning retreat, there is a missed opportunity for the much-needed, annual deep dive into the evaluation of vision, goals, polies, procedures, vital signs, guiding principles and more.
  3. Without a leadership retreat, the leadership team misses the opportunity for team building, establishing a new covenant together for the upcoming year with new team members, and a unified sense of direction and ownership in the upcoming year’s church effectiveness.

Top Three Opportunities

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

  1. Strategic ministry planning provides a clear pathway for both leaders and staff to engage in a collaborative, missional and intentional approach to live into the mission and vision of the church.
  2. Strategic ministry planning sets the gauge for an evaluation of ministry effectiveness in the upcoming year.  Without it, activities will have nothing to align to and leaders will have nothing to evaluate against.
  3. With effective strategic ministry planning, there is a heightened understanding of missional focus, alignment, energy, and momentum at all levels of the church.

As you can see, effectual strategic ministry planning is one of the major keys in creating and sustaining congregational health and vitality.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get your calendar out now and plan these two retreats – board and staff.  Be sure to pick up a copy of Strategy Matters to help you plan, implement, and follow up after a great strategic ministry planning retreat!