Planning Ahead

I’m a pretty easy going guy who doesn’t mind changes that happen mid-stream. I figure just make the necessary adjustments and move on. But one thing I’m learning as a leader is that I can’t just wait to plan. There’s an absolute difference between being spontaneous, and being disorganized.

I’m still learning this lesson, but I find myself thinking more and more about the future and what’s coming up. For instance, this morning my mind was thinking ahead to a PARTnership party at the end of October, Creative Team planning meeting in November and ideas for 2008. In the past, I would have been so focused on the “now” that later was barely a blip on my radar screen. And people could probably tell by looking at my ministry.

Here’s some of the things I try and make sure I’m planning ahead for…

  • message series (we’re planned through the end of the year, but I’m already getting nervous not knowing what’s coming up in 2008)

  • staffing (I’ve been paying attention to growing churches, and they all say ‘staff ahead of growth’ – since we’re growing, we’re talking with a couple people who are most likely taking the huge step into church planting)

  • community events and connections (if it was just about us, I wouldn’t worry about this, but how can we tie into what’s happening around us, connect with more people and point people to Christ)

  • budgeting and expenditures (we can’t be effective without knowing when and where to spend money – I still don’t feel like I’ve got a handle on this – it’s tough since it’s not “my” money. It’s important to be responsible with what God’s people and God himself has entrusted you with)

  • family time (if I don’t plan time specifically for my family, I’ll find a way to be busy. That’s why every Friday is “special day” and Lora or I take one of the kids out for breakfast alone – and today is my turn)

  • growth and learning (you can’t always plan when or what you learn but you certainly can make sure you expose yourself and your team to growth opportunities on a regular which is why we make sure we attend church planter roundtables and conferences like Catalyst and Unleash)

I’m not the best at any of this, but I see the value and I think I’m learning and getting better all the time. At least I hope I am.

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