To be be vibrant and attractive, a congregation needs a shared sense of direction. A strategic plan answers the question, “In what new and different ways will we touch lives in the coming 3 to 5 years?” A short list of answers to this question, supported by key leaders and a strong majority of active members, will guide and enliven everything from program planning, and worship to decisions about staffing, buildings, budgets, and community outreach.
If you are interested in a planning consultation, you might take a look at this Timeline for an 12-month Holy Conversation, plus 6 months of implementation. It illustrates a “jumbo” Holy Conversation, appropriate for mid- to large-sized congregations that are taking on major adaptive challenges. In any case, it will give you an idea of the principles I follow. Then contact me so we can tailor something to your needs and resources
When I work with congregations on strategic planning, my key resource is Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations, by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann. What follows is a supplemental list of resources that may be of use in your specific situation:
— My articles, many of which have to do with strategic planning, can all be found by clicking PUBLICATIONS at the top of this page. I particularly suggest:
— My Snapshot of Congregational Finance can help your board and other leaders to become more familiar with the church’s finance, and discover together areas that need improvement.
— My Timeline for an 12-month Holy Conversation, plus 6 months of implementation, illustrates the “giant” Holy Conversation, appropriate for mid- to large-sized congregations that are taking on major adaptive challenges.
PerceptGroup. Still the leading provider of custom marketing data for churches, though the market is changing rapidly. More is now available directly through the U.S. Census (Canadians have had it better for a long time). Church Marketing Solutions provides a good introductory essay on Census data for Americans.
U.S. Congregations Survey is one of the best-designed surveys of congregations to date. Taking the same survey as thousands of other congregations can be a good way to help your congregants see themselves in the mirror.
World Café Community Foundation provides ample information for anyone to adapt the World Café model to a variety of situations.