At North Village Church we are finishing up a season of planning. It isn’t something that happens naturally, but I encourage all pastors to set aside time to work “in the ministry” and “on the ministry.”
By working “on the ministry” we focus on three areas:
- Yearly Theme: We look at the vision and values of our church and we begin to prayerfully consider what will be the focus of our church over the next year. This process has been extremely helpful to shape our sermons, groups, and involvement in the community.
- Month By Month: We look at each month and we ask ourselves, “How are we taking steps this month to point our church family toward our “Yearly Theme.” This process allows us to think through details, obstacles, and plan accordingly.
- Financial Budget: After we have spent months praying about what God wants to do in our church family we begin to see our financial budget coming together. We work on this as elders, and then we submit our financial budget to people outside our church to receive feedback. We have found this process extremely valuable.
In each of these steps we are prayerfully positioning ourselves in a place where we believe God has to show up for our church family to continue. Sometimes I hear pastors neglect the discipline of planning because it might hinder the movement of the Holy Spirit. We completely disagree. We believe the Holy Spirit is moving in our planning and through our planning to maximize the movement of the Holy Spirit.
In the end, we hold all those plans with an open hand. They aren’t our plans. They are His plans, and we desperately need Him to show up so that we don’t look really stupid.