Well, depending on your personality type, what we’ve been talking about throughout this strategy series may be fun to you. For others, it’s been dreadful. For all, though, it’s a necessity! If you’ve been following along with the strategy and planning process, the FUN part is coming. Get ready. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re gonna begin to make huge discoveries!
If you go through the nuts and bolts of what I’ve lined out in the past few posts (check below for links if you missed them), then you should have critiqued the current year of ministry. You should have a completed SWOT Analysis. You should also have a pretty large list of answers to the 15 Key Questions I provided you with in the last post.
Now, it’s time to connect the dots! This is fun because it’s enlightening. If you’ve been struggling with what direction to lead your church, you’re about to find out. If you’ve been wondering what to preach about Sunday after Sunday, you’re about to get your answers. It all begins by connecting the dots. Here’s what I want you do…
Please know that it goes without saying, if you’re a pastor, that you should have already prayed… A LOT!!! I don’t want anyone to read through this strategy process and believe that by simply doing SWOT and answering a few key questions, that God will give you a concrete vision for your church. This entire process MUST be drenched in prayer! So, before connecting the dots, pray again. Pray that the Holy Spirit will show you the common themes. Pray for direction.
2. Look For COMMON THEMES
Take your giant Post-In Notes and line them up on a wall in front of you and your team. You should have your SWOT Analysis followed by the answers to your key questions. Begin by looking at SWOT. Look for common themes between your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Grab a red sharpie and circle, underline, draw lines between all of the commonalities. Do the same with your Key Question answers. Finally, take a blank giant Post-It Note and begin writing down those common themes. You’re looking for a list of about 7-10.
At the close of this step, you should be able to step back and begin to see a solid foundation for where to lead your church in the upcoming year. I’m not talking about the kind of vision where you’re dreaming of how your church can grow in numbers, or how many small groups you can establish. What I’m talking about is going to give you a “topical” direction. You may think that this is purely internal, but here’s the thing. If the people in your church are wrestling with the common themes that you just discovered, the people in your community are as well.
The next article will be the final one of this strategy series. We’ll take all of the common themes you’ve just discovered and get really practical.
PS… If you missed any of the prior posts leading up to this one, here are the direct links.
- Is Your Strategy NO Strategy? – General overview to the strategy and planning process. Click HERE!
- 4 Steps To Critiquing This Year Of Ministry. – You can plan ahead until you know where you’ve been. Click HERE!
- 15 Critical Questions To Plan A Year In Advance. – I can’t stress how HUGE the answers to these questions will be to you!!! Click HERE!