Christians by nature seem to be against planning ahead when it comes to how they lead their churches. This isn’t the case in their personal lives or where they work, but something about planning ahead in church planting circles or churches seems unspiritual.
Most church planters by nature tend to be fly the seat of your pants kind of people, go with the flow as they create the flow kind of thing.
The problem is not only that most churches, programs and church plants fail because of lack of planning and foresight, but it is unbiblical.
I’ve been reading through Proverbs recently and I’ve been blown away by how many verses talk about planning and thinking ahead or getting advice from others. Here are just a few:
- Where there is no guidance, the people fall; but in abundance of counselors there is victory. -Proverbs 11:14
- A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it. -Proverbs 13:16
- Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. -Proverbs 15:22
- Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance. -Proverbs 20:18
- The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. -Proverbs 21:5
- A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. -Proverbs 22:3
- Get the facts at any price, and hold on tightly to all the good sense you can get. -Proverbs 23:23
- Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. -Proverbs 24:3-4
Is it possible to plan God out of your church? Yes.
It is also possible to miss the work God wants to do because of poor planning.
Opportunities are missed because a budget wasn’t put together or stuck to. I’ve talked to countless pastors who aren’t able to do ministry they’d like to because of poor financial planning.
Services grow stale because a pastor and worship pastor can’t plan ahead and be on the same page. When this happens, pastors preach the same topics and worship leaders sing the same songs.
Church plants fail because planters haven’t gotten funding, thought through models or began hastily out of a reaction to a past church experience or anger. The destruction that has befallen families because of poor planning in church planting circles are too numerous to list.
A wise leader goes to God, has a plan, works from a plan, is willing to modify that plan as life unfolds. A wise leader never walks into a situation unsure about what to do.