You know how there are some things that are natural strengths, and others you have to develop and fight to learn and do well? Strategic planning is not a natural strength of mine, but it’s important – personally (to mature it really helps to have a strategic plan), in church planting (to establish a healthy church you need a strategic plan), in business (to have a healthy organization…)
Thought it might be helpful to share a few things I’ve learned about strategic planning. Today – the things you need to know before you even start thinking about your strategy:
- Know Your Core Values: Your core values are why you do you do what you do, the way you do it. (By the way, the best stuff I’ve read on core values is in Jim Collin’s book, Built To Last, where he argues that you can’t choose your core values, you discover them. Look carefully at who you are, and you’ll discern your core values. If you try to choose values that seem right, but don’t truly represent who you are, it will end up being counterproductive.)
- Know Your Mission: The mission defines what you’re supposed to be doing.
- Know Your Vision: This answers the question: What kind of church do we want to become? (Or: What kind of person do I want to become? Or: What do I want my financial situation to be like in the future? Or: What will our business look like if it turns out right?) We see a picture of our preferred future.
- NOW you can start planning. Only after you address the core values, mission, and vision an you develop a strategy. And the strategy answers the “how” question. HOW are we going to do what we’re supposed to do? It is the overall process that enables a church to accomplish its mission. For instance, if the church’s mission is to make disciples, the strategy directs how the church will make disciples.
Tomorrow I’ll delve just a little into some of the key questions we need to ask as we start the process of strategic planning.