#3 Make a Plan, Work the Plan
I teach a class at Moody Bible Institute called Ministry Planning. It’s all about, you guessed it…ministry planning. One of the very first things I must do each semester is to convince students that planning is indeed Biblical and yes, even prescribed by God (Prov. 12:5, 15:22, 16:3, 20:18; 1 Chron. 12:32, 28:12; Ps. 20:4; Mt. 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:3-10).
I start by asking the students a couple of simple questions: Do you believe that God had a plan for redeeming humanity? Did he work that plan through His Son Jesus Christ (read Ephesians 1:3-10)? Of course God had a plan! And He expects us to make plans in alignment with Him, for the sake of His Kingdom. Yet, many in ministry never strategically plan to accomplish that which God has clearly communicated they are to be working towards. The question that I hear time and again is… “how do I go about planning strategically for ministry?”
If Youth Ministries are to ‘Stop the Insanity’ one of the key factors will be to hear from God and plan accordingly. While the steps are quite simple, the process can be a bit daunting working through the first time. However, once the planning process is completed and Youth Ministries are intentional about working the plan, they will never go back to “flying by the seat of their pants.” It’s that impacting. Let’s just hit the key points:
- Pray – Gather key people (parents, staff, volunteers, students) to pray and seek God about the direction and plan for the ministry. Be patient and be persistent.
- Mission – What is it that God has called this ministry to be about? If it is part of a church (i.e. Youth Ministry within a Church), then whatever the church’s mission is should be reflected in the mission of the ministry. Otherwise, misalignment is created and the “silo effect” begins to take place.
- Objectives – What are the top 3 or 4 things that must be addressed in order for the ministry to stay on target with it’s mission, remain biblical, culturally relevant, sustainable, and redemptive in purpose? Whatever those three or four things are, write them down and never lose sight of those objectives being the priority for your ministry this year.
- Goals – Make SMART goals that assist in accomplishing your objectives. (S – specific, M- measurable, A- attainable, R- realistic, T- timely).
- Action Steps – what are the specific tasks that must be accomplished for each goal to be attainable?
- Calendar - Write down every task that must be accomplished and the deadline of each in order to attain the goals, achieve the objectives, and stay on mission.
- Budget – What are the financial resources that will be required to put into motion those things that God has led your ministry to do this year?
Having God’s plan and working the plan provides one of the most powerful tools in ministry: the ability to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.
I just touched on the main points in this article, but if you are interested in reading more on the topic, you should click here: http://bit.ly/K8AmEz and if you are interested in reading a book on the topic, I would suggest Advanced Strategic Planning by Aubrey Malphurs: http://amzn.to/LO9gQN