Do You Have A Strategic Plan…for Ministry?

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?

Strategic Planning

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.

  • Purpose
  • Target Markets
  • Strategies & Tactics
  • Timetable
  • 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?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Looking forward to this. I’ve never really thought about a specific ministry plan for my business, and I’m intrigued to see what thoughts you have!

    • I am glad Loren! I think you will find the information makes sense and the process is not at all difficult. If you have any questions or comments along the way, let me know.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Anonymous

    This is a great concept and one that requires active rather than passive planning to achieve.  It all comes down to the concept of seeing your workplace as a mission field rather than strictly a place to be financially compensated. So many of us compartmentalize our lives between Sunday and the rest of the week forgetting that much of what Christ accomplished he did in the marketplace not in the Synagogue. 

    • You are exactly right! One of the problems is that we have all been taught to keep business and “religion” separate for fear of offending someone. Even the churches are slow to embrace this idea!

      Once a believer comes to realize that their business is actually God’s and should be used from an eternal perspective, all sorts of options open up!

      My prayer is that this blog will, in some small way, bring attention to this idea and cause people to think about it. If they will just pray, read what God’s Word has to say about it, and ask for wisdom, then I think more will join this effort.

      Thanks for what you and your company do in the marketplace, Jeff!

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  • Bradley J Moore

    My job is Chief Strategy Officer, so I do tend to get involved in plenty of strategy sessions! We actually have a big strategic inititative around people and engagement  – the more we talk through it, the more we believe we are talking about CARING for people, and finding ways to express that in our organization tactically. To me, that is a strategy for ministry. That is one way of how we are developing a spiritual foundation in a business setting. I don’t know if the two should necessarily be separated, but I will watch your posts and see!

    • Bradley, I agree with you. That is strategy for ministry! I will say that I believe the two should not be separated. At the same time, I want to take the key team members – those that really understand the heart of what I think we should be doing from a ministry perspective – and build the foundation for ministry in our business.

      Once we have charted our direction and the basic approach we will take, I plan to integrate this area into our normal planning process. I am not 100% sure that this is the way to do it, but it seems to fit our situation right now. Obviously, I will be reporting on the results along the way.

      Thanks for your input! With your experience, I would love to hear more from you going forward. I am learning this as I go!

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