I was reading a number of blogs this last week, where the
authors were discussing and disparaging the need for 5 year plans. One of them
thought that it was impossible to do any forward planning for churches, because
of the inconsistency of human beings and therefore the inability to predict
with any certainty the future. The other blogger was a little more circumspect
saying that the maximum he could future plan was 2 years. They also discussed
the God factor and the need to be open to the moving and working of the Holy
Spirit and how human plans interfered with this. Both bloggers were right but
both were also wrong.
Church Planning, particularly Strategic Church Planning isn’t
about setting firm, guaranteed targets or goals. Nor is it about stepping in
the way of any move of the Holy Spirit. Planning is for your benefit and the benefit
of those you lead.
In churches you would ask yourself, as leader, where you as
a church would like to be in 5 years’ time. You look at the vision, values and
culture of the church and you begin to plan your programmes around these things.
I always advise young Christian leaders to plan firmly for eighteen months out
and then role it forward every six months thereafter, for a total of five years.
That way you can plan firm dates for evangelistic programmes and baptisms,
training and leadership development, church camps and special events such as
Christmas and Easter. This will also give you pause for thought to plan your
preaching rota and topics that you wish to teach your flock. It is after all
your responsibility to help your congregation become self-feeders.
Planning is about leadership not ministry. If the next great
move of God comes along it would be a very brave person who put their church’s
strategic plan ahead of Gods.
The bible tells the story about the man who built a tower
and how he should plan and budgeted for it. Leadership plans ahead, ministry
deals with the needs of people here and now. Strategic planning deals with the
future function and development of the church tomorrow, praying for the sick or
preaching is ministry and feeds the soul today.
 Christian Leaders who are constantly feeding their congregations and constantly just meeting their ministry needs, will end up with fat sheep and leaders who are burned out.Let all Christian leaders learn to plan extensively for
tomorrow  and meet the needs of their
congregations today.

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