Reason 3. No Strategic Plan

The idea of an entrepreneur starting a business without a strategic plan is clearly a recipe for disaster.  While that might be true, church planters have been starting churches without strategic plans for decades.  With the printing of "The Purpose Driven Church" and "Unchurched Harry and Mary" in the 90's, as well as several strategic books on the nuts and bolts of church planting, the need for strategic planning in church plants became obvious.  Even with the obvious need for creating a strategic action plan, few church planters were equipped or intelligent enough to create a plan on their own.

One of the most common questions I am asked is, "Did you ever think that BridgeWay would become everything it is today?"  While it might sound slightly arrogant, my answer is yes.  Yes. I had no doubt that BridgeWay would become the church it has become today.  The biggest reason is that even before we met with the launch team for the first time, we already had a picture of what God had called our church to become.  This picture was so clear that on our Grand Opening Sunday I shared a vision statement for our church.  Reading the statement today, it sounds very much like the church that we have become.

One thing I can tell you is that it didn't happen by accident.  It happened as people prayed.  Sought God's direction.  Read tons of books.  Trained like crazy. Put the plan on paper.  And then began to execute with intensity.

If you're planning on planting a church.  Please don't do so until you've created a strategic action plan.

So how can a church planter learn how to create a Strategic Action Plan?

1. Pray.  I'm not just saying this to get it out of the way.  I truly believe that lack of a unique God inspired vision is a primary factor in church failures.
2. Read the Bible.  Study the gospels and look at what Jesus did.  Read the book of Acts and witness what a Holy Spirit filled church looks like.  Consider the letters of the New Testament and uncover the essence of Christian community and ministry.
3. Read Church Planting Books & Blogs.  Read like crazy.  Absorb everything you can on church planting and ecclesiology.  In another post I'll share some of the best books and most helpful blogs for church planters.
4. Attend a Church Planter's Boot Camp or New Church University Event.  These events are designed to give you the basic skills needed to create an actionable strategic plan.  You can check for upcoming New Church University opportunities here.
5. Visit Other Church Plants.  Get an up close insiders look at what goes on inside of an existing church plant.  We've had several people check out BridgeWay on a weekend, and some who've even taken an entire day to spend with our staff.
6. Get a Qualified Coach.  I know I beat this drum a lot. But one of the greatest benefits of a qualified coach is that they can help you refine your action plan, and hold you accountable for implimenting it. 
So what about you?  Have you seen the benefit of having a plan?  Have you seen the danger in moving forward without a plan?

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1 Response to '8 Reasons Why Church Plants Fail (part 3 of 8) - No Plan'

  1. Greg'> 11:21

    This is good stuff Dale.


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