What specifically is the job of the Strategic Planning Task Force?
Maybe we should begin by identifying what our job is not. The purpose of the Strategic Planning Task Force is not to…
- Fix every problem in the church. As long as the church is made up of human beings, it’s going to have it’s problems.
- To make every person “happy”. Growing in health and mission will often take sacrifice and struggle. What is good is not always happy.
What are the principles of the Strategic Plan?
We’re looking for ways to be more healthy and missional. Not one or the other, but both/and. There are schools of leadership that are “Strength-Based” that urge individuals and organizations to focus on their strengths, or would elevated a narrow set of priorities over others. Some churches take this approach when they revise their ministry plans.
Yet one of the affirmations of the Covenant Church is “a commitment to the whole mission of the church”. The New Testament’s “Body-Language” about the church is helpful…
“speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” –Ephesians 4:15-16
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ … ” even “lesser members” of the body are shown honor in the church. –1 Corinthians 12:21ff
So we aim not only to leverage our strengths for the sake of our mission, but also to “shore up” our weaknesses as well. There are ten healthy missional markers, none are “optional”.
So the ultimate goal for this group is to by way of prayer, listening, research, reflection, and dialog:
- Assess our Mission, Vision, and Values (not with the expectation that these would change, but with the due diligence to give them a critical evaluation)
- Craft a basic strategy for ministry for the next 2-3 years by identifying a few strategic areas which need critical focus to accomplish the Mission+Vision
Bring those “Critical Success Factors” to the church council to receive and then utilize for planning ministry that addresses these areas.
How will the specific work of the task force will identify new critical success factors? With prayer, reflection, and research we will…
- Examine the results of our most recent PULSE survey
- Conduct interviews with newer attenders
- Do a group SWOB analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Barriers)
- Research demographic and “mission insight” data of our ministry field (the neighborhood)
- We’ll reflect on our Mission, Vision, and Values
- And then through practices of prayerful seeking the Holy Spirit and group discernment exercises we will name 3-4 essential ministry goals that might better help Bethlehem live into its mission and vision.