After bringing the strategic planning efforts to congregation members and leaders for input, the team may need to meet a fourth time to consider and make any needed changes to the plan before final adoption.

The final meeting to formally adopt the plan is scheduled for a time when people are able to attend, and the plan is presented with creative energy and anticipation of God’s blessing on their work together. To some extent, this should be a slam-dunk adoption because so many people have heard or seen the plan, and key leaders have had the opportunity to speak to the team about it. This meeting is the kind of voter’s meeting most pastors, church leaders, and members actually look forward to.

Once the plan is adopted, the team (or a newly-appointed follow-through team) will meet quarterly to assess their progress. They will ask:

  • What’s working? Those things they will celebrate with praise to God
  • What’s confusing? Those things they will clarify as they go forward
  • What’s missing? Those things will determine what needs to be done, maybe setting aside their current quarterly planning emphasis to address this and
  • What’s broken? Those things they will ask: Should we keep doing this? Does it need to be fixed or abandoned?

The people and pastor work together on an ongoing basis to pursue God’s mission together—united in Christ and standing together, seeking God’s kingdom and praying for God’s continued guidance.

Martin Luther explains why Jesus redeemed his people, “…so that [we] may be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.” This is not only most certainly true but also vitally important. It is a great joy to be united in Christ and mission, and this planning process can be an excellent tool for helping people do that.

By Rev. David Bahn, D. Min
Congregation Support Specialist, Area D