4 Steps in the Hard Work of Creating Strategy

98 percent of churches in North America are not functioning with strategic clarity on how they get things done.

Every week Auxano Navigators work with leadership teams from churches across the country to help correct this glaring deficiency.

All too often, we find a threefold problem for churches that have no strategy:

  1. Churches have too many ministry or program options.
  2. The ministry options have no relationship with one another.
  3. The ministries themselves have no connection to the mission – in fact, never the two shall meet!

Is your church one of those that is lacking strategy?

Recently, I read an article on HBR.org that spoke to this situation. The authors give 4 great steps that are applicable as leaders prepare to create a strategy for their church:

No great strategy is born without careful thought. That’s why the process of planning a strategy itself is an important vehicle for setting priorities, making investment decisions, and laying out growth plans. But for many organizations, the activity has devolved into either an overexplained budget or very little meaningful substance that can be translated into action. As a result, many strategic plans end up as shelf decorations or hard-to-find files in crowded hard drives.

Since this is the season when many organizations are engaged in strategic planning, it’s just the right time to break bad habits. Here are four steps that you can take to make better use of the hard work that goes into planning a strategy:

  • Insist on experiments to test the assumptions you’ve made
  • Banish fuzzy language
  • Escape from template tyranny
  • Ask provocative questions

You can read the complete article here.

The strategy development planning process is an important part of most organizations’ operating rhythm. Your leadership challenge, however, is to make sure that it’s more than just a group exercise.

There is real beauty in clarifying, focusing, and strengthening the ministries as defined by your strategy; the people who are growing in the process will take other people along with them.

Growing people grow people. Consuming people consume programs.

>>Without stating and integrating a simple strategy, your church will remain stuck in a bottleneck of the status quo.

>>With a strategy, your church can develop its unique approach to growing disciples.

Download PDF

Tags: ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Vision >



Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company.

See more articles by >


What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.