8 Immediate Benefits to Strategic Planning

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You are probably familiar with the Tom Northrop quotation, “All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are now getting.”

Based on your experience, you know it’s true.  Isn’t it?
Your church is most likely very good at ministering to your members.  Do you want more for your church?  Answer these three questions:

1. Where are you now?
2. Where are you going?
3. How are you going to get there?

Can you answer those with absolute clarity? Can your people?  
Do you have a clear strategy to get from where you are to where you want to go?

If not, you need a plan.

I’m often asked why a ministry should take the time, effort and expense to create a strategic plan.  Here are my 8 reasons why your ministry should launch a strategic planning effort - now.

1. Strategic Planning Helps You Focus Externally
The natural inertia of any organization is to focus inward over time.  Asking and answering probing questions to focus on those you wish to reach is necessary for any ministry that wants to grow.  This is hard to do on your own.
2. Strategic Planning Clarifies Your Code
Every ministry is unique.  Strategic planning helps clarify your “Ministry DNA” so that you can build your plan on a firm foundation.   
3. Strategic Planning Raises Key Issues
The planning process predictably identifies known problems or issues in your ministry.  There is power in naming and identifying those issues.  Planning will also raise unexpected issues - issues that when first mentioned will cause your planning team to simultaneously nod in agreement.  Those issues would never be raised in a healthy way outside of a planning process.
4. Strategic Planning Gives Direction
Part of moving your organization forward is deciding how you are going to get from where you are to where you want to be.  Clearly defining where you want to go is key in both the planning process and the health of your ministry.
5. Strategic Planning Creates Excitement
The planning process should create a level of excitement in your leaders, participants in the process, and your greater community.  Clearly stating where you want to go and how you are going to get there should ignite the passion of your people.
6. Strategic Planning Shares Leadership 
A process based on collaboration invites those with a passion for your ministry to participate in its envisioned future.  Increased participation, Increased ownership, and increased commitment are the expected results.
7. Strategic Planning Launches Revitalization
Aside from the mysterious work of God through the Holy Spirit, it takes intentional work to intentionally plan for future ministry effectiveness.  Strategic planning can be the spark that ignites a fire in your ministry.
8. Strategic Planning Builds Community
There is power in talking through tough issues as a church.  Passionate people united behind a plan creates a bond and increased sense of community that your ministry needs to grow.

Taking the time, effort, and expense to plan strategically is worth the investment several times over.

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Bryan Blackford