02 Feb, 2016 The importance of a plan
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Hi Pastor or Church Leader
People are looking for something to believe in and give their lives to – and Jesus gives us just that. He calls us to the greatest mission on earth – and it is the responsibility of the Christian leader to bring that vision to life in their Church. We talked about the vision casting part of this last month – vision casting being one of the primary roles of a leader. I shared a little poem that went like this:
A vision without a plan is a dream
A plan without a vision is a drudgery
But a vision with a plan is a destiny.
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of having a plan, because a good vision with a well thought out plan really is a destiny. Amazing things are possible if we will both believe for them – but also put our hands to them with wisdom.
Many of us start our work in ministry with great vision, but not a lot of strategy. However, after a few years we maybe discover that we’re not working as effectively as we could. Having plans, strategies and structure is important, and even if we are weak in these things we can learn from others if we are willing.
Illustration of the power of a plan: – John Wesley Vs George Whitfield
A great illustration of a man with a vision and a plan is John Wesley. He was a great evangelistic preacher – but not as good as another man named George Whitfield. George had a booming voice. He could stand on a hill and preach to a crowd and be heard by a few thousand people at a time. Both saw many come to faith in Jesus – but John Wesleys legacy lived on.
What was the difference? John Wesley understood how to structure things so as to gather, contain and sustain the faith and momentum created by the initial preaching. In fact, so effective were the structures he set up that 30 years after his own death they were still going, still functioning alongside the Anglican Church – and it was only then that involved decided to start their own Church – which remains today. They called themselves the Methodist – because they were the people of the ‘method’.
My own experience:
I’ve been amazed how, when we apply leadership principles, they actually work. I can recall embarking on new ventures, where I knew the theory of what to do, but hadn’t done it before. Yet, because I stuck to the theory, with a heart of faith, things worked out well, surpassing what I had envisaged before starting. There is a certain logic to leadership principles. And I believe it is a logic put there by God!
While some people become sceptical of goal setting, my experience has made an avid believer in it! Why? Because the process involved in setting goals that we will pursue stops us becoming caught in our routines. Sometimes ministry can be so busy that we don’t really have time to think. Some people call this ‘the tyrany of the urgent’. What happens is, we have so many things demanding our attention, that the urgent things take precidence over the important things.
The planning process is important
Both the time spent in setting goals and in planning out how we will achieve them are important! Because in the process of these things we are seeking God’s heart, and finding God’s wisdom to bring change! The alternative is that the things that seem urgent will get our attention – while these things that are important are again sidelined. To lead changes we’re going to have to stop and reflect, to seek God’s heart, and then to plan how we could put into practice what we feel he has called to do.
How this relates to All Together Consulting
So, like it takes two hands to clap, we need both vision and planning. Without them our visions are really just dreams – or our planning is going to be nothing more than a drudgery. But with both, wisely connected – it is possible to lead a church to a new destiny – and that is exactly what All Together Consulting is about – helping you to mobilise your members so you can increase your outreaching potential – and fruit!
If you imagine this strategy to be like the all the plumbing under your house that gets the water from the roadside to your taps and shower and kitchen… This strategy can help you get the passion and focus of Jesus into your peoples hearts and minds in a sustainable way… and applied in their daily lives.
Please reflect upon what is in your hands here – apply it, and build upon it again this year.
Those without Christ can be reached by your members!
May the Lord make you effective in making your members effective!