Global Leadership Network UK & Ireland

GLN UK & Ireland

Developing a Strategic Plan

Notes from WCA’s Defining Moments: Developing a Strategic Plan – Revisited

The first 20 years at Willow Creek:

  • There was no formal strategic plan in place
  • When the church first began, the whole plan was to lead people to Christ and grow them up
  • As the years went by, the church grew and more sub-ministries came into play and the focus
    got unbalanced
  • At the 20th anniversary, Bill realized that he didn’t have a plan for the future that was clear
  • Consultants would come in and ask senior management to imagine 10 years ahead, and there
    was no energy in the room because they were so focused on what to do in the short term

What to say to pastors who don’t have a multi-year plan for their church:

  • Call a time out now to get time to plan 2 – 5 years out
  • Because you are inventing God’s money, hundreds of hours of staff and volunteer time, you
    must decide what God wants from the next 5 years
  • Make sure the past is resolved – it is hard to think about the future when the past has not been processed

Developing a strategic plan:

  • Ask questions in a different way to get people to think beyond their present situations
  • Ask people to make a declarative statement about where they can draw a line in the ground about what the future should look like
  • Write out scenarios that are very different from each other to spark thinking and connect to people’s souls so they can discern what God might be saying 
  • It is vital to have energy in the room so people are passionate and creative in their thinking

Other topics discussed in this episode:

  • Establishing ownership of the strategic plan
  • Learnings along the way
  • Persevering through the difficulty of a strategic plan
  • Does a strategic plan stifle a visionary leader?
  • Process vs. Plan
  • The difficult parts of Willow’s strategic plan
  • Some experiments that didn’t work out
  • What Willow did well
  • Goal champions
  • The plan is a tool
  • Willow’s new strategic plan
  • Leadership lessons

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