Serving in God’s Mission – Strategic Planning Update - April 26, 2024 


We’ve laid a good foundation for discerning and developing God’s plan for our congregation. Here’s where we’ve been. We started with the scriptures. We looked at God’s purpose and provision. We considered ideas involving His timing and His call to us to be the body of Christ in this time and this location. We talked about how God has shaped our congregation for the ministry to which He is calling us. Then we moved into the strategic planning process.

Session 1 provided an overview of the strategic planning process. One major difference between secular strategic planning and church strategic planning is that rather than pursuing a plan handed down from the top, we develop a consensus-driven vision, looking to the leading of the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. 

Session 2 was designed to explore the idea of building consensus for our strategic plan. Four orientations toward the future were examined: Promoter, Planner, Pragmatist, and Protector. Some participants felt uncomfortable labeling people. Rightly so! This exercise was not designed to stick people in a box. We all express all four orientations under different circumstances. The goal of identifying these orientations is to ensure we move forward with great ideas (promoters) that can be planned out (planners), realistically resourced (pragmatists), and managed in a way that honors who we are and what we’ve done (protectors). One of the most interesting results of session 2 was our congregation’s perception of our promoter/planner/pragmatist/protector balance vs. the actual balance within our congregation as each person identified what they believe is their primary orientation. The chart below shows us just how different our congregation's self-perception overall is from the sum of our individual perceptions.

Session 3 was spent identifying the resources God has put in our congregation to do the ministry to which He is calling us. There is an important caveat: God may provide new resources as we move forward with our strategic plan. The resources were divided into five categories, some of which inevitably overlap. The chart below shows the resources that stood out.



The task of the next session will be to surface the core values of our congregation. “Core Values” are deep-seated convictions held by the congregation that cause certain outcomes to be preferred over other outcomes. “Core Values” are principles that guide our internal conduct and our relationship with the external world. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership describes Core Values in this way: “A church that effectively develops, articulates, and appropriates its core values can remain clear on what it believes about itself, and focused on what God calls it to be and do.” Typically, a congregation will have 5-8 core values. 

Congregational Values come in two flavors: 

Realized Values” are the deeply ingrained principles that guide all a congregation’s actions; they serve as its cultural cornerstones. A core value is only a realized value if it can be shown that the congregation is living it out.

 “Aspirational Values” are things the congregation holds to be of prime importance that we are not currently living out. 


Once we have come to a consensus on what our Core Values are, a small group of people (the Core Planning Team) will begin the process of formulating a congregational purpose statement, mission statement, and vision statement. Once they have done their work, the draft statements will be released to the congregation for review and revision.

Following the drafting of the statements, we begin formulating visions and plans for fulfilling our congregational mission. Exciting stuff! 


Strategic planning in a long-standing and diverse organization is a long process. 

You can’t rush a roast by simply turning up the heat. It will get done, but the results will be bad. The center will be undercooked and the outer part will be overcooked. There will be some eatable meat; but there will be lots of waste just because the cook tried to hurry the process. 

The same is true with strategic planning. It takes time to pray over, consider, research, and do all the things that we need to do. It also takes time to condition our minds and spirits to what God is calling us to for the next chapter of Redeemer’s life as part of the body of Christ. 

I encourage you to stay engaged and not get impatient. Trust the process and don’t try to control the outcome. The best results are often things that nobody foresaw in the middle of the process. Pray. Engage. And be patient. Much grace and peace to you!

Pastor John