“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (I Corinthians 3:6)
In chapters 2-3 of the Prophet Nehemiah we read the story of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a God-appointed prophet who used a form of strategic planning. He worked through a well-planned strategy to accomplish the vision God had given him. He assessed the damage. He secured the resources. He established leaders and distributed the assignments among them. Anyone who has ever erected a structure or undertaken the task of establishing a new program will identify with Nehemiah’s need for some kind of drawn-out plan for the reconstruction of the walls. Developing a parish is no different, whether it pertains to a building program or new ministries initiation.
Strategic planning is asking the question: what do we wish to become? This is one of the most difficult questions for a parish or nonprofit organization to answer. It is also one of the most difficult questions for each person. The Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton famously said, “To become a saint is to become one’s true self.” Is this the unspoken strategic plan of every person?
Here is the introductory PowerPoint on Parish Strategic Planning.