In the first post of this 3-part series, we discussed the vital importance of FOCUS in ministry success. Here, I describe the importance of having the correct STRATEGY…
I’ve come to believe that one of the key components to a lack of ministry success is the absence of strategy. I’ve been told by some that we should not plan – we should simply rely on the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am a firm believer in being Spirit-led and understand the importance of His counsel. However, I am also convinced that the Holy Spirit calls us to be responsible strategists and planners. You need to only look at the first chapter of the Bible to see how strategic God was in his creation process. Nothing was left to chance. Each piece of creation formed part of a larger tapestry or strategic plan.
Some call strategic thinking, “Adaptive Planning”. It’s the ability to chart a course yet have the agility to navigate obstacles or opportunities along the way. Strategy is more than vision, it’s a dream with a time line. Vision will outlive you!
Imagine a family road trip without a map and a plan. The result – chaos. I like to plan my road trips. I like to know where I’m going to spend each night and I like to have those hotel reservations secured well in advance. Strategic planning actually makes life much easier and much more successful. At this stage in my life I have a plan to retire. I presented that plan to my Board of Directors several years ago. I know where I’m going and I know how I’m going to get there. I want to finish well. I want to reach the destination of retirement in a way that brings glory to God and continuity to this ministry that I love. I have a retirement strategy – it’s not just a vision, but a dream with a time line.
Strategic thinking is also more than just having a budget! Strategy planning informs your financial budget. In Compassion’s holistic child development model we have a strategy to take children from birth through a carefully designed developmental process to adulthood. Our mission statement clearly articulates that our goal is for these children to become “responsible and fulfilled Christian adults”. We know that won’t just happen with a vision. We must be strategic. We must have a plan.
This plan includes program policies such as; adult – child ratios, minimum contact hours per week, outcomes for each stage of development, knowledge, skills and behaviors that we believe are essential to maximize potential. All of these elements form part of our strategic plan. We know where we want these children to be in 20 years and we have a plan to take them there. This focused strategic plan is what Dr. Bruce Wydick’s (University of San Francisco) research clearly identified and validated Compassion as the most effective child development organization in existence today.
Why should we have a strategy? You can be sure that Satan has a strategy – to steal, kill and destroy! But God also has a strategy – to provide life, abundant life (John 10:10).
We at Compassion are fully committed to our strategy of Christ, Child and the Church.
President & CEO of Compassion Canada