Developing a “plan and execute” culture in the local church is critical to success! Here’s a “step by step” description of the process of developing a strategic plan. This can be done in a fairly short time and without much difficulty and cost. Check this out and give it a try!
Using numerous data sources (internal opinion surveys, external demographic studies, performance metrics, etc.), church leadership identifies its “stakeholders” and goes through an extensive exercise of better understanding their “needs.” This first step in the planning process will also include a thorough evaluation of how well the church has met the stakeholder needs to this point in its history.
Equipped with an understanding of the stakeholder needs, church leadership develops and documents a “strategy.” The strategy will include a mission, vision, and a set of core values. Basically, the strategy is a statement of “what” the church will do to meet its stakeholder needs.
Systems, Processes, and Methods
From there, key objectives are identified that make up the church’s plan for implementing the strategy. The objectives have owners, and progress toward accomplishing the objectives is tracked throughout the year.
To track progress toward successfully meeting the stakeholder needs in all areas of the church, a set of Key Performance Measures (KPMs) are developed and reviewed on a regular frequency. Measures such as Average Weekly Attendance, Average Weekly Giving, Giving Per Capita, Monthly Baptisms, etc., are some of the usual measures put in graphical form for regular review.
Determining what human resources are required to accomplish the plan is the next step. A complete review of the church’s organizational structure and personnel is completed to ensure the resources exist to accomplish the plan. Is the leadership structure in place to adequately accomplish the plan? How should the organization change to improve its performance? What additional personnel will be needed?
Finally, a financial plan is developed in support of the strategic plan. If enough financial resources to accomplish the plan are not available, the plan is modified to eliminate the lower priority key objectives.