The Tension Between Planning and Going with God by Phil Kesler

Every Christian leader wants to go where God is at work and do what He is leading us to do! We also want to be prepared and responsible with the resources He has given us. Can we plan in a God guided manner? How can that work?

First – when it comes to developing a vision and mission statement – we should, as a leadership team, pray and ask God’s direction for the overall ministry.

Second – when it comes to examining the yearly schedule for mobilization events, mission trips, evangelistic /impact events, church planting /house church locations, new ethnic groups to be engaged – we need to seek the feedback from all ministry leaders as well as the church body as to where God is guiding us. Are doors opening in some new place or with certain people? This may mean deciding to NOT do some things that we’ve always done, so that we can do some new things that God is revealing.

Third – develop the calendar and budget in such a way that there is some flexibility built in and explain this clearly to the staff team as well as other key leadership. Help all to see that there is no fear or shame in saying that an event ought to be moved, the time changed, rescheduled, cancelled or completely new activity /ministry added because that is where God is moving. Also – have a special “God at Work” line in the budget (the author has seen a local church recently do this very thing!) and allocate resources for those new ministry opportunities that could present themselves during the year. Encourage ministry leaders to analyze their budgets as the year goes on for unneeded funds that could be released for use where God is at work in another ministry sector.

Fourth, when plans, budgets, and calendars are approved and as the ministry year progresses, help everyone understand that it is all subject to change at the whim of the Holy Spirit. The pastor and staff must be constantly discerning which way He is moving – so as to steer the ship to go with Him as He moves in a new direction.

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