On churches and strategic planning

Craig Groeschel, always a refreshing voice, wrote a post a while back on The Death of the Five-Year Plan. After years of trying to construct and live off of strategic plans for his church, it sounds like he is changing horses. He writes in part, "We are creating margin and planning to respond quickly to ideas that we don't yet have. Speed, agility, flexibility, and financial margin are far better than a detailed road map. We are in the ready position. Instead of asking God to bless our carefully crafted plans, we're trying to be prepared to move when he speaks and guides."

I really like where Groeschel is going. I am currently preaching a series at Sanctuary on being a Fit and Ready church. I think I have given up trying to construct a vision from the conventional methods. It felt contrived and man-made (probably because it was). I have gravitated toward readiness, prayer, and listening for the story God seems to be wanting to tell through our church. This does involve planning, but it's a different approach from the usual: coming up with the problem we want to solve as a church and constructing a gap plan to take us from where we are to where we want to go to solve that problem. Having Groeschel give voice to similar convictions helps me feel more “okay” with the whole thing, and less like a misfit pastor who has wanted to "play the game" but ultimately can't escape the sense that most church strategic planning amounts to slapping our ideas on God's church like it's new siding on a house we just moved into. 

Now what does it mean to be a church that is Fit for new challenges and Ready for new callings? That is what I want to learn more about.


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