Torch, Winter 1993

Your Church Ministry: Planned Effort Or by Dr. Robert Wiggins and Pastor William Rudd 12 Torch , e S uccess is rarely an accident. Leaders plan and act for success. Great biblical leaders such as Moses, Joshua, Nehemiah, Paul, and our Lord Jesus continually illustrated and taught important management principles. Today's business leaders are implementing these same principles in the process of strategic planning. They establish goal-oriented plans which they believe will help them accomplish their objectives. They constantly evaluate their successes and failures with the goal of always becoming better at whatever they do. Should God's business, the church, be any different? Some might object that strategic planning eliminates the leading of the Holy Spirit. However, God's omniscient Spirit is able to lead far in advance just as well as "on-the-spot." God's eternal plan of redemption established "before the foundation of the earth" is the supreme example of strategic planning. To be like God, His servants must prayerfully plan ahead. We propose two broad positions in this article. First, one priority for leaders in a church should be to plan strategically for the long-term success of the church. This is especially true for the pastor as chief management officer of the church. Second, these strategic planning practices should fuel a constant cycle of planning, assessment, and implementation. The Word of God and the plan of salvation do not change, but the world we are called to reach is constantly changing. We must seek the most effective means of communicating unchanging truth in a dramatically changing world.