[featured_image]If you are going to successfully plan for the future, there are three things you need to know.

  • Where you are now (here)
  • Where you are going (there)
  • How to get there from here

This past weekend I had the opportunity to facilitate strategic planning with the leadership of a local church. It was an incredibly valuable experience.

3 Step Strategic Planning Process
1. Assess current reality
The leaders completed surveys that asked open ended questions to initially assess where they were as a church. Out of the surveys, several key issues and outcomes surfaced. Based on these results, four key priorities were identified that needed to be addressed. Certain stats were gathered to identify growth over the past ten years, as well as projecting growth for the next ten years.

2. Describe future reality
When over twenty potential outcomes were identified, the top five were selected and determined to be priority. We also spent time inviting the leaders present to express their dreams of the future.

3. Determine steps forward
We focused our discussion on these four priorities:

  • Leadership Development
  • Discipleship
  • Multiple Services
  • Facility Needs

We brainstormed multiple options in table groups. Each group then reported back to the whole group. These options contributed to potential next steps forward in the next 90 days, one year, and two years.

I’m very encouraged by the progress that was made. Everyone’s voice was heard. Many options were considered. We also evaluated those things that we desired to attain, preserve and avoid as we moved forward. This was a very healthy discussion.

And now the real work begins. It’s easy to talk about the present reality and how to move forward toward a future reality. It’s much harder to solidify action steps and take the bold steps forward to attain that reality.

This 3 Step Strategic Planning Process may be helpful to you as you seek to move forward in 2014 and beyond. Whether you are leading a small group, a missional community, a local expression of the church, or a denomination or mission society, consider how to assess your reality, to describe your future reality, and determine steps forward.

Today’s Missional Challenge

Utilize the 3 Step Strategic Planning Process this week. Set three or more bold action steps to take in the next 90 days to move forward. Start now.