Understanding the Strategic Planning Process

Uncategorized Jun 21, 2019

The core purpose of strategic planning is to CREATE THE FUTURE!

This boils down, in practical terms, to carefully selecting your target market, and then consistently solving your community/constituents needs delightfully - in other words, you delight your community to the extent that they consistently by-pass the competition and their offers in order to be served by you.

This strategic planning process consists of five stages leading to the successful achievement of both short- and long-term objectives.

These stages are:

1. VALUES. The Strategic planning process starts with the questions: "Who are we? and "Why do we do what we do?"  These values reflect the core of who we are... the very fibers of our being... the non-negotiables that we filter all strategic and operational decisions through... the attitudes and beliefs that count most... the things we pay special attention to and reward. Values are passionate, biblical, shared, core beliefs.

As a guide, when setting values, ask: What is valued by our congregation, our community, our God? What values motivate and inspire our members? What would improve the trust and loyalty of both congregation and community? Examples of values might be: diversity, creativity, excellence, evangelism, healthy conflict, authentic community, integrity, trust.

2. MISSION. The second step is the development of the mission statement. This step builds upon the first. Once we have articulated who we are, we can better describe what we do.  It's a broad but brief biblical statement of what the ministry is suppose to be doing. In general there is one question that should be answered in crafting a mission statement: What have we been called to do? For example: ...to develop people into fully devoted followers of Christ. You can also look at your mission as a contemporary restatement of the Great Commission... Matt 28:19-20.

3. VISION. The third step in the process is to ask the question: Where are we going, in the long term?... What will it look like?... What are we to become?...  What are our dreams for the future?  This is a bold picture of the future that directs the entire organization.  An example of a vision statement, for a church, might be: To be the church unchurched people love to attend. A vision is a clear, challenging picture from the heart of what we must be (future). 

4. STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT. The fourth step ask the question: HOW are we going to accomplish our mission? This begins by setting concrete OBJECTIVES and specific TARGETS needed to achieve the organization’s Mission. This includes, (i) what we plan to achieve, (ii) by when, and (iii) at what cost. These objectives and targets must be: Ambitious; Specific; Measurable; Attainable and evaluated at regular intervals.

5. STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION  (i.e. ACTION PLANS). The final step involves your very specific plans to implement the strategies and achieve the objectives? This step must include a thorough understanding of the three basic strategic questions - where are we now? Where do we want to be (vision, mission & objectives)? How do we plan to get there? Specific detailed plans must be developed for each ministry – what will be achieved, who will be responsible, by when and how will it be done.

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