This article was written by state missionary Ken Allen.
Last blog, we began a discussion of how to develop a strategic vision for your church. In this blog we will focus on informing and including others. Do not move through the process of developing a strategy alone. Clearly communicate to the church all along the way. I would suggest leading the church through the study Experiencing God. Studying Experiencing God can reorient the church around being God-centered rather than man-centered. Here are the remaining five points:
7. Discuss with church leaders current reality and trends.
Examine your community demographics with them. Ask: What surprised you (and did not
surprise you) in this report? Does our church reflect the people who live within our
primary ministry area? The State Board of Missions can provide you with helpful demographic information for this process. Email State Missionary Mickey Crawford to request a report at email@example.com.
8. Study your church’s 10-year profile.
Decline often happens so slowly that members do not realize what is happening. You will also see the number of baptisms from year to year, as well as other important information. If your church completes an annual church profile (ACP), we will have access to it. Email Elizabeth Householder in the LeaderCare office to request your profile: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Ask church leaders questions.
What are our strengths and weaknesses? How are we accomplishing the primary functions of the church (evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry, worship and prayer)? What impact are we having on our community? How does a guest feel when they visit our church? What do the pastor, staff and deacons focus on when they have meetings? It is critical that you bring church leaders along with you as a vision and strategy are developed.
10. Form the strategy.
Ask: Considering where we should be in five years, how do we prayerfully begin to head toward that reality? Strategy is how we accomplish what God is directing the church to do. Goals assist in showing if the church is making progress.
11. Determine church members who can implement the strategy.
They are people who get things accomplished. Past behavior is a key indicator of future performance.
Please remember, we are here to assist you as you lead the church. We would love to be a listening ear or be of some help as you navigate the waters of knowing where God is leading (vision) and developing a strategy to accomplish that God-sized vision.