9 Steps to a Strategic Ministry Plan

Group of people planning around a table

This article was written by state missionary Rob Jackson.

One thing that we enjoy doing is helping pastors and their churches develop a strategic ministry plan. It is crucial to move your church to a position of better health. Moreover, in Ken’s Intentional Leader Series, strategically leading your church is a significant role of the pastor as a Pathfinder. 

These nine steps can serve as a launching point towards developing a strategic plan:

1. Analyze. 

This process involves analyzing yourself, your church, and your community. 

2. Develop. 

Prayerfully develop a team. No man is an island. We find it is easier to move your church forward purposefully with other vital people assisting you.

3. Revisit.

Revisit (or create) a vision and mission statement. Your mission statement will remind you of your purpose and calling, and your vision statement will direct you as you plan for the future.

4. Evaluate

Evaluate the balance of your church using the six biblical functions found in the Great Commandments and the Great Commission. We provide SWOT analysis for you to discover strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in each of these areas.

5. Hear. 

Get alone to hear from God. We always encourage pastors to seek the face of the Lord personally. It is in these times that a pastor often hears direction, confirmation or correction. 

6. Brainstorm

Brainstorm which area is needed most. As you get with your team, brainstorm and begin to put this plan on paper. 

7. Preach

Preach the Word. Never underestimate the power God gives the pastor in the pulpit. Preach a series on the six functions. Preach through the book of Acts as you seek to be a more Kingdom-focused church.

8. Implement.

Implement your plan slowly. Just as you cannot do it all alone, you cannot do it all at once. Remember, you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

9. Measure.

Measure success based on the church’s six functions. A strategic plan should both measure and evaluate your church’s health progress.