E very detail matters! That is the mindset of those who plan well. When I was a pastor, I recall spending a ton of time planning out every single moment of every worship service. I also recall spending hour after hour of laborious advanced planning for every event. I wanted everything we did to make an impact. Gospel advancement was the goal and excellence was always the standard.
Strategic planning is a necessary component to every church and organization. In order to maximize the talents and resources of your people, a clear plan must be properly thought through and implemented. However, as good as strategic planning is, it should never take priority over prayer. As I have grown as a leader, I have learned that spending more time in prayer than planning helps you to be better prepared for what God wants to do in and through you.
Prayer is hard work. It is something in which we must choose to invest our time. It is one of those disciplines that easily finds itself being pushed out of the priorities of our day. However, prayer can be the avenue in which God chooses to move among you in a new way!
Allow me to encourage you to pray for three things as you lead your church or organization forward:
1) Pray for God’s favor and blessing. There are a lot of good things that come from being a strategic planner. However, when God chooses to bless our efforts, greater things happen.
2) Pray for God’s guidance and protection. This may sound like a strange way to pray when engaged in planning, but we desperately need God to lead the way and protect us from making the wrong decisions. If we are not careful, we can allow our creativity to lead us to a place where we are more dependent on our abilities than we are on God moving among us.
3) Pray for those you are seeking to impact. While we certainly want to lead and plan with utmost excellence, the ultimate goal is to glorify God and impact people with the life-changing message of the gospel. Therefore, we must pray that God will use us to advance the gospel.
As a leader, it is satisfying to develop a plan and see it come to fruition. It is a joy to see people utilize their talents and resources to further the kingdom of God. Strategic planning is a major part of that. However, we must be diligent to never let our planning become priority over our praying. I love you and am honored to serve you!