When was the last time you worked on your strategic plan for any portion of your business? How much time did you take to do that? How many people were involved in the process? What were the results? Do you think it was time well spent?
Quarterly Planning Session
For our company, the last time was this past week (Tues-Thurs). We spent several hours over several days leading up to Wednesday in drafting rough plans for our 4th Quarter Strategic Planning session. We went off-site all day Wednesday for the actual session. Then we spent Thursday compiling the notes and finalizing our plans.
I think we spent a total of 20 hours with various combinations of 15 people. I figure it was a total of roughly 200 man-hours for our quarterly planning. We came away with solid plans and forecasts for our focus areas over the next quarter. I think it was time well spent.
Maybe your experience is similar. Maybe you spent more time, maybe less. Either way, strategic planning is a critical part of running a business. It is necessary to keep a team focused on the right things so that maximum energy is applied where maximum results will be seen.
Strategic Plan for Ministry?
So, that begs the question, how much time have you spent in strategically planning the ministry aspect of your business? Is this even something that is on your radar? If not, should it be? Shouldn’t we be spending more time determining how God would have us use our business as a vehicle for His ministry?
Strategic ministry planning is the same as strategic business planning, but it more specifically focuses on how we will allow God to use our businesses as vehicles for ministry. It is a process in which you map out the following, as they relate to doing ministry through your business.
- Target Markets
- Strategies & Tactics
- Reporting & Accountability
I can tell you that this is something that I have worked on in streaks for the past eight years, but I have never formalized the process. Nor have I ever been intentional about involving others on our team. It’s not that we have not done anything, but we certainly cannot point to a consistent planning process in the ministry area.
That is changing now. Over the past several weeks, I have selected three key members of our company’s leadership team, described my vision for increased ministry through our business, and asked for their interest level and motivation for taking our ministry planning to another level. All three are “all in” and committed to this process. Now that the team is drafted, we have to determine our plan. Since this is new territory, I went outside for help.
Seeking Outside Help
I have been a member of C12 for almost six years now. You can read more about this organization and its tremendous benefits here (C12Group.com). One of the many opportunities offered by C12 is something called a Strategic Plan for Ministry seminar. The seminar is given by the founder of C12, Buck Jacobs. If you ever want to meet someone who absolutely bleeds with passion for business as a vehicle for ministry, it is Buck Jacobs!
Anyway, my team and I went to this seminar this past week and came away with a clear path to creating a Strategic Ministry Plan for our business. Over the next several posts, I will be outlining this path for you. In addition to that, over the next several months I will be reporting on our team’s progress toward a more strategic integration of ministry into our business. I hope this information is as helpful to you as it has been for us.
Have you considered intentional planning for ministry in your business?
If so, what steps have you taken in this direction?
If not, what is stopping you from taking the first step right now?