By Matt Parker
I love strategic planning. Writing mission statements, doing SWOT analyses, and setting goals excite me. I get a buzz out of envisioning the future and putting the plans in place that will help accomplish this.
I just started talking with my organization’s board about implementing a strategic review. They were enthusiastic as I laid out a six-month process to them.
But there was something that made me pause and reflect.
I was reading through the book of Acts at the time. And, in the second chapter, soon after Jesus ascended to heaven, we see the disciples gathered together in the upper room. They had been given a huge task: to continue the work that Jesus had started by taking the amazing hope of the Gospel message to the nations and baptizing and making disciples.
They were not (as I might have been tempted to do) writing a strategic plan, with vision statements, goals, objectives, and performance indicators (all in a nicely bound document with different colours and a beautiful cover photograph, of course!)
Instead, they were praying and fasting. And as they did so, the Holy Spirit came down upon them in power, strengthening them and guiding the way forward.
Think about that. We can compile the most detailed, ambitious, and compelling of plans, but these mean nothing unless God is at the centre. “Apart from me you can do nothing”, Jesus tells his disciples in John 15.
As we think about the future of our organizations, we must commit to prayer. We must seek God’s will, taking time to listen for his voice. And we must keep praying, pursuing him, listening carefully, and responding to his guiding throughout the entire process.
How can your organization better keep Christ at the heart of your planning processes?