Displaying items by tag: goals

Strategic Planning as Worship Work

by Sue BaumgartenStrategicPlanning

Thinking strategically is not one of my top strengths. By nature, I’m a connector and a communicator, an activator and a mentor. But with almost 3 decades of board service, (respectful of term limits and built-in breaks) and also serving as an Executive Director for a few years, I am no stranger to Strategic Planning. And, I currently serve on the National Maternity Housing Coalition (NMHC) leadership council and we’re in the middle of Strategic Planning as I write this.

Strategic planning is a mandatory exercise for ministries and is probably the most important organizational document to have outside of your mission/vision statements. Strategic planning helps your board and staff have a road map that looks out into the future – hopefully 3, 5 even 10 years and says, “This is where we’re hoping to go.” Your strategic plan then breaks that hope into manageable pieces and allows your organization to make forward motion toward your destination. Strategic plans are living documents that can be adjusted annually so don’t be afraid to have BHAG’s (Big Hope-filled Amazing Goals, using my verbiage)!

In light of Covid-19 in 2020, I’m sure ministries in the middle of year 3 of a 5-year plan will need to revisit their Strategic Plan and make some adjustments. Your Strategic Plan is not just an internal document. It can be shared out in your community as you and your board members meet with potential church partners, foundations and individuals.

Preparation for your strategic planning session(s) is critical. Here’s some basic steps to give the process structure and to seek the Lord throughout the process.

  1. Prepare deeply. Fast and pray for wisdom and clarity. Prioritize hearing from the Lord and His wisdom over the knowledge of men. Familiarize your group with tools for discernment – Mastering the Art of Presence Based Leadership by Keith Yoder and Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton are two that I like. Practice Listening Prayer.

  2. Gather the right people and supplies. Strategic planning should include key staff leaders and the board of directors. It should encompass every aspect of the ministry – staffing, program, finances, development. A third-party facilitator can also be very helpful to the process. Be sure those with talent in strategy are active and engaged participants. White board and dry erase markers, flip charts and markers, sticky pads and pens – give people the ability to write ideas and brainstorm!

  3. Create space for a rich conversation. Don’t rush! Consider your meeting time a time of worship, a moment of worship/work. Incorporate music into your meeting. Guard against “book-end praying” – just once at the beginning of your meeting and at the end. The Lord is always speaking through His Holy Spirit and His Word–allow space and time to hear from Him! Strategic planning deserves plenty of time to let members of the group discuss, pray, take breaks, brainstorm, review. It may require several meetings.

  4. Assess the current situation. Doing a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a fast and easy tool. Reviewing your mission/vision statements are key. Is your organization walking out it’s mission? Mission Drift can happen so easily. Look deeply at what is happening within your organization.

  5. Go through a Goal Setting Process. At the end it should be clear: From What/To What/By When/By Whom. Be sure to know who’s bucket of responsibility the goal falls into – Executive Director, Program Director, Board Chair, etc. Another tool related to goal-setting is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.

What a good and Godly work we have been called to! What a joy to seek the wisdom of God through strategic planning so that our work can continue to give a witness to life, redemption, and the very goodness of God! As you think about the future of your ministry, may you experience it with awe and reverence in a posture of worship. Heartbeat offers Strategic Planning resources and as an on-site consultation session. Click here for more about Strategic Planning.

Additional Resources:

Knowing Your Strengths

SMART Goal Setting

Vision Traction Organizer

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Traction – Get a Grip on your Business by Gino Wickman

Mission Drift by Peter Greer

Sue Baumgarten has served on the Board of Directors (as well as a variety of other roles) for LifeHouse of Houston since 1993. For more information about LifeHouse of Houston, click here: https://lifehousehouston.org/

Why Not Ask on Social Media from Time to Time?

by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist

A couple of years ago, while working on a capital campaign for a center, I made a commitment to walk in the center’s Walk for Life. Because I don’t live in the city where the center operates, I set up a personal fundraising page through MinistrySync, which took all of five minutes.

That evening I posted a link to my page on Facebook and met my goal within hours.

Today’s donors want giving to be quick and easy, so why don’t we help? For those of us who are involved in fundraising, we can use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to casually mention from time to time, “If you are interested in supporting the ministry where I serve, here is the link.” Then of course, we post the link!

We don’t have to wait for a Walk or any other event to ask our friends to kick in a gift. They already believe in us, so some will want to go the next step and support our work.

We can link to our donor page and if we use this method, ask friends to mention their connection to us so we can track gifts. For instance, “When you give, add the comment, ‘Kirk sent me!’

Or, we can use a funding page such as You Save Babies (more on that HERE!).

Some thoughts:

Set a Goal

“Would you mind giving?” is not nearly as powerful as, “I’m looking to raise $1,250 for . . .” A goal, and updating friends every few days, gives friends more connection and the ability to say, “I helped Kirk accomplish his mission.”

Give a Reason

“Support my work” is nice, but, “I want to raise $1250 so that this ministry can . . .” is better.

Start with a Gift

Asking is more effective when people see themselves as joining, instead of starting a process. Consider what we wish to be an average gift and make that gift to start the process: “I chipped in $25; please join me with a gift of any size.”

Giving needs to be simple today because fewer and fewer of us are willing to sit down and write a check. Let’s continue to look for ways to connect our friends to our work—as quickly as they can click a mouse.  

Click here for more of this month's Advancement Trends in the Life Community.