Where is your church going in the next five years? What will it look like it ten years? If nothing changes, will it still be as equipped to reach the community around you?
If we aren’t careful, church becomes a Sunday-to-Sunday routine process and we look up someday from the weekly grind and realize we never reached our potential. For most churches, when one Sunday is over they are planning for the next Sunday. The church addresses the ministry needs of the week, but little time is spent planning for the months and years to come for the church. The monotony of a repeating schedule can often replace long-term planning.
(Because every time I do a post like this I hear this comment I know that at this point one of my readers (maybe two) is thinking, “God is in charge of us reaching our potential”, and it is at this point that I have to remind said reader that planning exists throughout the Bible and in fact, God seems critical of those who fail to plan.)
This post is just a simple reminder to steal some time from the weekly grind to plan a few steps ahead in the life of the church. Think through issues such as worship, discipleship, staffing, space needs, volunteer recruitment, and community and world involvement. In addition to weekly impromptu meetings and our bi-weekly all staff meetings, our staff gets together three times a year in an extended staff retreat. We have found this process to be where major initiatives and ideas originate and gain energy.
At our most recent staff retreat at Grace Community Church, after we went looked again at the Growth/Maintenance/Development issue again (Read a post about that process HERE), we considered these three questions to help us think through some critical planning issues for our church:
- Missing Holes
What needs developing?
- Dying Momentum
What needs tweaking or killing?
- Gaining Momentum
What needs energy/additional resources right now?
You may consider trying this with your staff. If you are the only staff member, recruit a few key people in your church to help you plan.
Tomorrow I will post some of the bullet point that came as a result of these three discussions. If you need more help with these issues, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us learn from you. How does your church plan for the future?