Parish Strategic Planning

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Strategic planning is answering the question: "What do we wish to become?" The material in this presentation is drawn from the professional nonprofit development community and written from the Orthodox Christian perspective.


<ul><li> 1. Parish Strategic PlanningStewardship AdvocatesTM</li></ul> <p> 2. Jesus Taught about Careful PlanningFor which of you, intendingto build a tower, does notfirst sit down and count thecost, whether he hassufficient means to finish it?Lest unfortunately, after hehas laid the foundation, andis not able to finish it, all thatbehold it begin to mock him,saying, This man began tobuild, and was not able tofinish. Luke 14:2830 3. The Ultimate and Essential Purpose of allStrategic Planning is Answering a QuestionWhat do we wish to become? 4. A Suggested Response to this QuestionFor an Orthodox Christian parish or organization, theresponse might be To manifest in our worship,programs, services, ethics, values, behaviors andministries the fullness of the Holy Spirit, already presentwithin our church community but not fully presentwithin our institutional life.Note: one Orthodox theologian, in response to thequestion: What is the Kingdom of God?, responded,The Holy Spirit is the Kingdom of God.Another Orthodox theologian wrote, The Son is themanifestation of the Father, bearing witness to Him. TheHoly Spirit is the manifestation of the Son, bearingwitness to Him. And the Church as the sanctified andultimately deified body of believers, is the manifestationof the Holy Spirit, bearing witness to Him. 5. Potentially Dire Consequences How do we then exercisea choice for a preferredfuture? If we fail to exercise achoice for a preferredfuture, then ultimatelywe will be handed adefault future, not of ourown choosing. 6. Suggested Prayer Before Commencingall Strategic Planning ActivitiesAlmighty God, our help and refuge,fountain of wisdom and tower of strength,who knowest that we can do nothingwithout Thy guidance and help; assist us,we pray Thee, and direct us to divinewisdom and power, that we mayaccomplish our parish strategic plan withhumility, discernment, wisdom andsensitivity to others according to Thy will,so that it may be profitable to us, thecommunity we serve, all who seekconsolation from Thee and to the glory ofThy Holy Name. For Thine is the kingdom,and the power, and the glory, of the Father,and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: nowand ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. 7. Professional Nonprofit Strategic Planningin Service to the Church"We must be superconservativein preservingthe Orthodox faith, andsupermodern inpropagating it." St. Nikolai Velimirovich 8. What Nonprofit Strategic Planning is Not* Only a wish list drawn up by wellmeaningvolunteers Only a oneday board retreat where the generaldirection and problems of the parish arediscussed Only a capital improvements, renovations andnew construction survey Only a twoyear operating budget* Some of the items listed might be componentsof a more comprehensive strategic planningprocess 9. Professional Nonprofit Strategic PlanningThe continuing process of making presententrepreneurial decisions systematically and with thegreatest knowledge possible of their futurity; organizingsystematically the efforts needed to carry out thesedecisions; and measuring the results of the decisionsagainst the expectations through organized systematicfeedback. In summary, strategic planning is thecomprehensive implementation of a preferred futurethrough incremental steps. It is the relentless pursuit ofimprovement. Strategic planning has a broadperspective but a limited agenda. The goal of a strategicplan is to give credible specificity to the vision of aparish of what it wishes to become. 10. Definition of Terms Goals Refers to the goals of the strategic planningprocess not general goals of the parish Values the guiding principles of the process Match in light of our mission and as a result ofthe process, including internal and external researchand assessment of what needs to be done, how dowe exercise a choice for a preferred future andbecome the parish we want to be? Define a strategy write the strategic plan withactionable items, costs, person responsible by task,measurements of progress or completion against acalendar. 11. Qualities of the Strategic Planning Process Mission focused Inclusive Transparent Exploratory Accountable Objective Innovative Ambitious Professional Dare to dream factor 12. Areas for External ReviewThreats and Opportunities Societal/cultural Political Environmental Demographical Theological/Hierarchical/Ecclesiastical Economical Key competitors and allies 13. Areas for Internal ReviewStrengths and Weaknesses Worship Programs/Ministries educational, youth, etc. Activities Organizations Finance Facilities Leadership/Staffing Governance 14. The Strategic Plan What does it look like? Written document always in draft form this demonstratesopenness to new ideas Looks out 35 years Answers the question: What do we want to become? Includes mission statement, values statement, vision statement,executive summary, description of the planning process, thefindings, key strategic indicators, articulation of goals with flowchart of objectives against a calendar with human, physical andfinancial resources required to achieve the goals and objectives,benchmarks of progress, people responsible for implementationof specific tasks and goals Reasonable plan for fulfilling the mission of the parish A living and working document Includes plan for ongoing review and accountability 15. Results of the Process Community consensus developed Increased parishioner commitment and ownership Enhanced effectiveness of programs, ministries,governance, management and funding Clear goals Measurable objectives Significantly substantiates need for capital campaignor increased stewardship or an endowment Fiveyear written work plan Knowing what we want to become 16. Considerations Strong temptation after all the work of planning tolet it gather dust on a shelf If a fiveyear plan, understand that it degrades 20%each year in terms of relevancy by year five itsonly 20% relevant Need to start ramping up again for another planningprocess at beginning of year five Typically leads to a capital campaign to gather theresources necessary to implement goals andobjectives (staffing, buildings, new programs, etc.) 17. The Principal of Stewardship AdvocatesOrdained Bastille Day 1974; 38 years a priest;four parishes served; B.A., M.Div., plus 30courses of study in nonprofit institutionaldevelopment;12 years serving as ViceChancellor of Advancement at St. Vladimir'sSeminary; 15 years as consultant to well over100 Orthodox parishes and organizations;author and editor of Good and FaithfulServant: Stewardship in the Orthodox Church.In June 2012, at his own request, Anthony washonorably returned to the ranks of the laity inorder to receive the sacrament of holymatrimony.Anthony L. Scott 18. Contact Information andAdditional Materialphone/text: 347.831.1848email: orthodoxconsultant@gmail.comwebsite: </p>