If you are a church leader, not only must you have a clear purpose, you must have a clear process. I’ve met a ton of pastors and church planters who have a great vision, but no idea on how to accomplish it. It’s not enough to say our vision is to “Bring Glory to God” or to “Preach the Gospel” or to “Reach People Far From God.” You need to have a plan. How many great ideas (and new church plants) flounder in mediocrity simply because the leader could not come up with a viable strategy or raise the necessary money?
I had a guy tell me one time that making plans and formulating strategies in church work was “plastic and prepackaged” and should not be done. It was one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. Perhaps this explains why he does not lead a growing church, but rather a declining one. His theories are giving him exactly what they are designed to give – not much.
It takes more than dedication to grow and lead a healthy church – it takes skill. The reason the apostle Paul was so effective in planting and building churches was because he was skilled at it. He admits this in I Corinthians 3:10, "By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an EXPERT BUILDER" (KJV says “wise master builder”). Not only was he dedicated, spiritual, and a praying man, he was SKILLED at using the right tools and doing the right things.
Without proper planning we continue to re-invent the wheel week-after-week, month-after-month, and year-after-year. Or we just run laps every Sunday without ever making any real progress. But a well thought out plan will help us become more faithful and fruitful in every area of ministry. The modus operandi for servants at PCC is to “plan your work, and then work your plan.”
My motto: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Of course, I tried to explain all of this to the guy I was talking with. But he was unable to grasp the concept - it was above his pay grade.