When you enter your church’s planning process, you might wonder whether you should enlist professional assistance. The answer to this depends on the diversity of your team's expertise, your resources, and your need for a third-party facilitator.
Auxano is here to help visionary leaders do the challenging work of fully realizing their vision. We have been in the industry for more than 15 years, and we have partnered with various pastors and ministry leaders in North America. When you turn to us for compassionate and expert help with your church’s planning, you can rest easy knowing we'll do whatever's possible to address all of your church plan needs.
What Is the Importance of Your Church’s Planning?
The purpose of your church’s planning is to help you to listen, equip you to discern, invite you to take action, and encourage you to pursue God's unique goals for you and your ministry. In addition, your church’s planning will bring to your attention God's call and unique thumbprint upon your life and of the people in it. Through your church’s planning, you can help your ministry team fulfill together God's call and vision for your church.
Enlisting Our Help With Your Church’s Planning
When ministry teams turn to us for help, they walk away with a visionary church plan that can help them attain church growth. This church plan allows them to discover unprecedented clarity around the unique identity of their organization. From there, they map out more actionable plans for articulating and integrating their vision into their culture.
Making the Right Church Plan
Church Plan Step One: Create mission, vision, and values statements.
When it comes to church plans, knowing where to focus efforts and resources isn’t that easy, especially when you’re unable to articulate what you wish to accomplish. It’s like going on a vacation without first identifying the places you want to visit and the ways you’ll get there.
The first, and arguably the most significant, step to creating a solid church plan is deciding on church mission, vision, and values statements. This part of the process allows the ministry leaders to clarify what the church is ultimately doing (mission) and where it is trying to go (vision). These two components of a church plan determine planning, strategy, and budgeting church resources.
Church Plan Step Two: Do an analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
Once the mission, vision, and values statements have all been laid out in the church plan, the next thing to do is perform a SWOT analysis. This part of a church plan helps ministry leaders identify the church’s key areas in need of targeted resources, opportunities, and opposing environmental factors that may influence their church plan strategy.
For instance, if a program for children is a strength of the church, the church plan may include increasing the resources dedicated to that program to ensure continued growth. On the other hand, if the church is located in a high-crime area, the church plan can involve developing a youth outreach program to support the unique demographics of the community.
Church Plan Step Three: Perform a gap analysis.
A gap analysis addresses the question, “How far are we from where we want to be?” It looks at the church’s vision and compares it to where the organization is now. This part of the church plan can tackle a wide range of subjects, such as ministry program development, financial viability, discipleship, and churchgoers’ experience. With the right church plan and gap analysis, ministry leaders can target these areas with effective strategy.
Church Plan Step Four: Decide on your organizational goals.
What follows SWOT and gap analyses is the creation of organizational goals. These goals would only be as effective as the strategic process of articulating them.
Ministry leaders can use the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goal process to make sure that their goals for their church are achievable. They may ask themselves these questions: Are the goals in your church plan specific enough for clarity, measurable in terms of success, and truly attainable? Is there a time frame set for the completion of these goals in the church plan? This part of the church plan provides a framework for assigning accountability and determining tactical steps in church activities.
Church Plan Step Five: Determine your church plan budget and stick to it.
You’ll have to identify the resources for each goal in your church plan. This is why determining your church budget is important. The budgeting aspect of your church plan enables you to detail your ministry team’s both short-term and long-term goals. This involves allotting resources and assigning responsibility.
As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The beauty of making a church plan is it helps you give direction to the growth of your church. Once you have invested enough time and effort in this church plan, it will be just a matter of overseeing it to completion.
Preparing an Effective Church Plan
Church Plan Tip One: Envision the ultimate goal of your church.
When you do your church’s planning with professionals, envision your church years from now. How successful do you want it to be in terms of growth and unity? Identify your ultimate goal when you prepare your church plan.
Your church might currently be well short of reaching this goal, but that's normal. All the same, you'll do well to make your church plan dynamic and ambitious. Your church’s planning process should focus on determining the steps involved in bringing your ultimate goal to fruition.
Church Plan Tip Two: Anticipate the future.
True visionary church leaders strive to gather and synthesize information about church communities around them, including their best ministry practices. They spot trends that can be turned into invaluable opportunities for their church in the future.
In this type of church plan, visionary leaders try to imagine not only how their ministry will look in the future but also how the church industry will evolve over time. Anticipating the future promotes being proactive and allows the seizing of emerging opportunities.
Church Plan Tip Three: Grow and expand.
Some ministries make the mistake of defining themselves too narrowly. They tend to view their mission as doing the same, old procedures instead of finding ways to grow and expand. This is not the case for ministries that don’t stop striving for growth.
By continuously pursuing growth strategies, these churches are able to expand their horizons and explore endless possibilities. Through their church's planning, they reach people and make disciples effectively year after year.
Church Plan Tip Four: Focus on improvement.
One of the questions to consider when making a church plan is, “What can we do better?” Having an answer to this question is both a church plan and philosophical element that can influence all aspects of ministries’ activities.
When a church plan centers on continuously improving all practices and techniques of the ministry team, there’s no limit to their room for improvement. They recognize through this kind of church plan that their congregation is never perfect, which pushes them to become better followers of God every day.
Get in Touch With One of Our Church Plan Professionals
Do you need professional assistance with church planning? Trust Auxano. Our foundation is a vision-framing process that’s based on a celebrated book by our founder Will Mancini, Church Unique.
When you enlist our church planning service, one of our trained Auxano Navigators will come to your church, multiple times over several months. The purpose of these church visits is for our navigator to lead you and your team through our breakthrough vision-framing process.
At the end of this process, you’ll walk away with two things: a custom-built vision frame and a real church growth action plan. Reach out to us today to get started.