Leadership is a continual focus upon growing from one point into the next. God has called leaders to be ahead of the people in order to help them get closer to God and each other. Without a strategic plan to accomplish vision, it becomes just an idea. Leadership is being able to see the future that God has laid out and then explain the processes for people to understand how to achieve success. The key to handling the ideas and plans of any leader is to begin at the foundation, God’s Word.
It is important to note that God’s vision comes from Him and the people of God are to fulfill it. Planning is the process of seeking God’s Will and clear ways to fulfill it. A foundational scripture on planning says, "Where there is no vision, the people will perish (Proverbs 29:1). God’s Word explains many commands, precepts, and principles to follow. The church is in dire need of strategic planning in order to clear the cobwebs of man-made plans and truly seek God’s plans. Jesus came for a specific purpose of bringing sinful mankind into a right relationship with God the Father through the cross. The church has to become rifle focused upon achieving the restoration of people’s lives into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Strategic planning clears the uncertainty and helps churches make decisions based upon the gospel over what is man-made.
God desires us to rethink our methods but keep the mission the same because it is irreplaceable and timeless. The need for the church to be intentional about their plans is to be transparent and humble about changing in order for people to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Strategic planning helps frame the picture for all those that are part of the process. Leadership is to help people become sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives. God can accomplish just as much in the planning process as He can in the completion of the plans. Planning is to be focused upon clear steps that lead to the overall mission of the church. Not only does it help the overall mission but also it builds ownership into the lives of those in the church. In order to make wise decisions in planning the organization must be able clarify opportunities and weaknesses. The goals that are in place help shape the daily and long-range processes to reach success.
Leaders must help explain the need for change in the midst of planning and making decisions for the overall purpose. Clear steps need to be outlined by the leader to aid in communicating to people’s skepticism to change. Leaders are to help people see the vision of making changes for the glory of God. Leadership must be ahead of the change before it occurs. It is wise to think through the pros and cons of any situation, especially when it comes to making changes. Leadership must be able to explain the need for change so that people can understand the motivation. If a leader does not see their personal need for change, the overall mission of the organization will become stagnant. Leadership is a process of helping unlikely people accomplish amazing tasks.
I have found in my life that when I am thinking creatively about the plans that God would have in the future, He begins to show His will. A goal of leadership is to enable people to act upon the vision. Leaders are to motivate and encourage people to see themselves embracing the vision and being able to own it for themselves. My desire as a leader is to do all that I can to shape the plans of the future as close to God’s heart and Word.
As I lead in student ministry, my desire is to help make plans to draw the family into a closer walk with God. The activities, events, message series are all planned with a clear vision to help people into a growing relationship with God. This quote explains further, “When people come together and set aside their individual needs for the good of the whole, they can accomplish what might have looked impossible on paper” (Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team). Leadership is to make plans as far out as possible to give people space to jump onboard the vision. Strategic planning is not only biblical but is needed in today’s church. Time is short and the people of God need to stay focused upon loving God, loving each other and serving the world.