The Main Reason Your Strategic Plans Are Failing

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… but it seems like the more plans church leadership teams create, the less church ministry actually happens.

Is this because you shouldn’t plan and just follow the Holy Spirit’s leading? Is this because you have a bad team who cannot execute and everyone should be fired? Is this because you’re a poor leader and it’s time to find another church? No, no, and NO!

Most strategic plans fail because church leadership teams are attempting to do too much and they set too many goals. In this post, Auxano co-founder Will Mancini unpacks the 10 reasons to ONLY purse one goal at a time.

Here are the first three:

#1 One goal at a time focuses the attention of staff and leaders. No goal = little focus. Too many goals = playing for different teams.

#2 One goal at a time creates greater energy among the congregation. No goal = unactivated potential. Too many goals = depleted energy.

#3 One goal at a time directs everyone’s prayers as a concert of dependence on God. No goal = random prayers. Too many goals = low likelihood of any goal-directed prayers at all.

Take a look at the full list and then discuss with your team: 

What could be your one “mid-ground” horizon for the entire church the rest of this year?

If you’re stuck, we may be able to help… get a visionary plan here.


Are you an Executive Pastor or denominational leader looking to add new leadership tools to your toolbox?

The upcoming God Dreams Certification may be for you. Join Auxano co-founders, Jim Randall & Will Mancini, as they unpack the entire Horizon Storyline toolbox and equip you to lead teams to new levels of alignment and accomplishment.

Learn more about the God Dreams Certification event here.

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Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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