Honoring the Nestorian Christians

Thursday, October 13, 2011


(Condensed and adapted by Fred Vergara from Strategic Planning for Church Organizations, Judson Press, 1969. This step-by-step process was used by the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry Council at their national strategic planning last October 12, 2011 in YMCA Estes Park, Colorado.)

Strategic Planning begins with a vision, an imagination of a new future. When God blessed the Church with the Holy Spirit, the apostle Peter expressed this event through a passage from the book of Joel, “In these last days, God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; your young shall see visions, your old  shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2: 17)

God intends the Church to be a visioning community, to move from “what is” to “what can be.” With the Holy Spirit present, the visioning work of strategic planning is an act of faith.

I. PLANNING Process (The GIADSIE Steps)
1. Gather key leaders to form a Strategic Planning Team. Who are the key leaders and who will commit to serve on this team?

2. Identify the shared values that unify and motivate the Team. What can build relationship? What values among team members which seems to conflict? How can these values be reconciled?

3. Analyze the situation: what are the needs and the available resources to meet them. What are the felt-needs; what resources do we have; what are those we have not yet gathered? Given our current resources, how will we meet our needs?

4. Define and write the mission statement. How can we tell the world in a compelling manner about what God calls us to do and to be?

5. Set goals and objectives. What are 3-5 goals must we reach in the next 3 years to be faithful to our mission? What are the short-term objectives we will pursue to reach each of these 3 goals?

6. Implement the plan with persons assigned to tasks. Who will take responsibility for each goal; what resources must we provide?

7. Evaluate the results. Who do we thank for the success and how do we recognize the contribution of those who made this possible? If failure, what caused the goal to fail and what needs to be changed to ensure success next time?

1. Planning Committee – a relatively small committee to do the initial work of refining and clarifying the basic assumptions.  Environmental assumption refers to our analysis of the physical, e.g. “The world in which we live is undergoing rapid changes affecting the way we do ministry.” Theological assumptions are spiritual statement upon which we chose to act, e.g. “The church is called upon to be a sign of the kingdom of God to bring salvation, love, forgiveness and reconciliation.” The crucial factor for the success of the committee is that it be made up of people who are innovative and willing to work in a collaborative way.

2. Policy-Making Body. This is the body that that appoints the PC and regularly reviews its works and acts upon its recommendations. Its function is 3-fold:
(a) Approve assumptions, objectives and strategies;
(b) Allocate the necessary resources to implement these strategies;
© Review and evaluate progress or revision the plan.

3. Maximum Participation. This is both the bane and the blessing of planning. On the one hand, the more people are involved, the more difficult it is to arrive at consensus. On the other hand, wider participation not only means wider commitment to the objectives but also ensures they are realistic and workable.  How this principle works out, depends on each situation. The bigger the goal, the bigger the need for broad participation.

C. PRIORITIZING: A Loose-leaf Notebook
Since the strategic plan is a total list of operation and is continuously under review and revision, it is important that priorities be established to make the work manageable. For example, certain objectives are given higher priority rating at a given moment than others. Those of lower priority or which are future-oriented can be written down and placed in the loose-leaf binder as a constant reminder and then placed forward when the other more important priorities have been achieved.

A timeline in the implementation of priorities may be established.

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