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Here’s a thought. With all the talk these days of strategic planning and organizational church ministry, what would happen if we did church work without any planning? Here’s what might happen . . .

1. Fewer hours

Planning takes a ton of time, and that time is in short supply. Now more of us can have time to work on our golf game!

2. Shorter deacons meetings

Without the need to discuss long-range issues, deacons meetings will require a lot less time.

3. Easier budgeting

Churches with proactive plans are often stretched financially. But without the need to budget additional funding for new programs, the pressure will be off!

4. No need to consider changing anything

Administrating change in a church is challenging. Without planning, we can avoid it altogether and just keep doing what we have always done.

5. No worries

Churches will no longer have to think about parking problems, classroom space, or expanded facilities, because churches that don’t plan to be more effective and grow usually don’t!

6. Fewer critics

It’s impossible to do ministry without critics, it seems. But consider this: We can’t be criticized for not reaching ministry goals if we don’t have any.

7. No need to worry about outreach ministries

Outreach activities require significant planning to be effective. Now we can just preach the Word and trust God to bring the lost to us!

8. Leadership continuity

This could be a blessing—the same leaders all the time. Those who are accustomed to serving in churches with vision and direction won’t stick around. Good riddance!

9. Less time spent trying to discern God’s will

We can save time and effort by not having to prayerfully seek God’s plans for the church. It’s so much easier to let things happen as they will.

10. No need to search for a church motto

Just use this one: “Come weal or come woe, our status is quo.”

If You Do Decide to Plan

For churches that desire to develop a proactive strategy to more effectively reach their communities and grow their ministries, may I suggest these thoughts:

1. Make prayer a priority.

Affirm that good planning is not merely getting God to “rubber stamp” our plans; it means seeking to know His plan.

2. Involve both the leadership team and the congregation.

Taking time to get everyone on board is crucial to the success of any ministry plan.

3. Consider four basic steps in the process:

Affirm the overall vision and mission of the church in writing, and communicate it regularly.

Honestly evaluate the current ministry effectiveness in accomplishing its mission and vision.

Set both long- and short-range goals. Make them as specific and measurable as possible.

Write specific action steps to implement goals. Specify who will be responsible for each area and what financial resources are needed.

4. Take advantage of available resources.

Consider these two books by Aubrey Malphurs: Advanced Strategic Planning (Baker) and Ministry Nuts and Bolts (Kregel).

5. Contact our Ministry Resource Center.

Through our consultation ministry to churches in our fellowship, we provide help in overall strategic planning, in addition to ministry assessment and planning. Contact me if I can help: jvogel@garbc.org; 1-888-588-1600, ext. 855.

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