Methods: Planning consistently happens in three areas, personal, ministry and organization and on three levels, strategic, tactical and operational

SWOT Analysis Strategic Planning Tool

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats originated by Albert S. Humphries in the 1960’s as a simple strategic planning tool for individuals and organizations. It is intended to identify internal and external factors that might influence an organization, objective, or decision. By definition, Strengths and Weaknesses are considered to be internal factors over which you have... Continue Reading

Should Your Church Engage In Social Ministry and Social Justice?

  “Matthew 25 scares the hell out me,” was the response of a pastor friend to the question of what he had learned during his recent sabbatical. Reading with new found clarity where Jesus thrice states we will be judged by our compassion towards “the least of these” had unnerved this seasoned pastor. And, observing social ministry and social justice... Continue Reading

A Flawed Map Is Better Than No Map

I am often asked to recount the history of the remarkable growth of Brentwood Baptist Church while I served as Executive Pastor. Inevitably I find myself describing a clear unfolding of a strategic plan moving seamlessly through various phases. When in reality we often had no clearly defined plan and our path was at times tortuous as we discovered right... Continue Reading

15 Approaches to Reach the Next Generations

 Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it – George Orwell Pastors and church leaders everywhere are seeking to better understand the Next Generations* and develop practical ways to reach them with the gospel. And for good reason. These emerging generations will impact the... Continue Reading

A Proven Approach To Innovative Strategies

Innovative strategies are often characteristic of growing and high impact companies, organizations and churches. Year in and year out these entities exceed the results of others by developing cutting edge tactics, technology, programs, products and systems. Yet, surveys show that few employees identify themselves as especially creative or innovative. How then does innovation occur? Research indicates growing organizations draw upon... Continue Reading

A Simple Planning Process

It has been said, if you don’t know where you are going, any path will take you there. And, if you aim at nothing you will be sure to hit it. Scripture illustrates, beginning in Genesis, that planning is in the nature and character of God. We are designed to plan in partnership with Him. Therefore, planning is a critical... Continue Reading

Evolutionary or Revolutionary Planning?

Things stay the same unless they change. Change is required for progress and planning is essential to progress – no planning usually means no positive change. But, how do you determine what needs to be changed and how much change is required? I have always found it helpful to begin with a thorough review of existing ministries, programs, strategies, processes... Continue Reading

The Five W’s and One H Method For Decision Making

5W1H represents a list of fundamental questions, What? Why? Who? Where? When? and How?, whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering, analysis, problem-solving, communication and decision making. They are often mentioned in journalism, police investigations, brain-storming exercises and research projects as they constitute a formula for providing a complete overview of an idea, subject or topic you want to understand.... Continue Reading

The STOP Approach to Planning

  There are three levels of planning and decision making required in developing a comprehensive plan: Strategic, Tactical and Operational Planning. Strategic Planning decisions are the broadest and most general, Operational Planning decisions are the most narrow and specific, and Tactical Planning decisions fall in between. Leaders can use the STOP approach as a roadmap in developing and communicating plans, and ensuring the... Continue Reading

30 Feedback Questions For Church Strategic Planning

Kenneth Blanchard has said that “feedback is the breakfast of leaders.” A key component of any church strategic planning process is to secure feedback from stakeholders. For churches this usually includes Bible Study Teachers, Ministry Leaders, Staff and Church Governance Leaders such as Deacons and Elders. But it can also include specific demographics such as Young Marrieds, New Members, Prospects,... Continue Reading

25 Easy To Use Church Strategic Planning Exercises

Stephen Covey is noted for saying, “Without involvement, there is no commitment.” Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, and underline it. No involvement, no commitment. Those are strong words but needed admonishment for those of us who lead in the local church, for broad engagement is one of the things I see as most lacking in church strategic planning.... Continue Reading

An 8 Step Biblical Process for Leading Change

The heart of leading change in the church is listening – to God and others. When the Apostles were leading the New Testament believers in Acts 15 to question their belief that Gentiles must be circumcised to be saved they couldn’t rely just on their ability to think strategically. So they first listened, and then responded to what they heard. Eight Step Biblical... Continue Reading