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A 20 year plan?

During a recent conversation with a church strategist I casually mentioned that I have a 20 year plan for our ministry. This plan is detailed on an annual level and gives me security in the ministry. Security and longevity are things most Pastors do not find. Don't misread me, I completely understand that GOD ALONE provides our 'security'. I'm speaking in terms of security as it relates to relationships with people. We as Pastors face a 3 year average tenure in our ministries. The reality is that before most people find trust in us and even view us as their "Pastor" (5 years in transitional situations) most Pastors end up leaving. Having a long range plan and a solid course charted allows us to lead with the security to know that we are prepared for the long haul.

I spoke to a leader in the church recently over a decision. We didn't quite agree on a point and I honestly and lovingly asked "This is a long-term plan. I plan to be here for 20 years or more. Do you?" He looked back and replied "Honestly? No. When my kids graduate I plan to retire and move away" We both smiled and understood that it was best that I make the decision at hand.

I encourage you to consider a long-term plan. My conversation with the church strategist continued with the comment "Tally, do you realize that our best churches in the state don't have a 12 month plan let alone a 20 year plan?"

I'll likely share more about this over time. I'll also share how a friend of mine and I are looking into consulting as a way to share these types of plans with individual churches. These plans have to be UNIQUE to every environment. A long-range plan is Taylor-Made. We cannot afford to continue to cut and paste our ministry planning and tell everyone that we are 'contextualized' in our ministries.

Regardless of where you are in your context I urge you to consider planning for the long haul. In fact, no matter your situation... make a plan.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, March 31, 2005


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