What is the mission statement of the congregation? What is the vision statement of the congregation?

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1 The Strategic Ministry Planning Guide A Tool for Ministry Planning The Strategic Ministry Planning Guide has been prepared as a comprehensive planning and decision making tool for The Lutheran Foundation Member Congregations. By answering all of these questions as fully and completely as you can, you will develop a strategic plan for your ministry. This planning process should fully bring your staff and congregational leadership on board with your ministry plan and should help in the alignment of resources. These are the questions everyone wants to know the answers to for a healthy ministry of a congregation. I. Philosophy Philosophy in The Strategic Ministry Planning Guide is intended to share details on what you believe God s desire is for this ministry. Philosophy begins by sharing Mission, Vision, and Value statements. The details of the PHILOSOPHY will create clarity on why a particular congregation s ministry is fitting for the context. What is the mission statement of the congregation? What is the vision statement of the congregation? What are the value statements of the congregation? What people group is the focus of the ministry of the congregation? How will this ministry focus on the Great Commission rather than drawing Christians from other worshipping communities? What is your vision for engaging the community with the Gospel and addressing human care needs? What is your congregation s vision that is in keeping with Acts 1:8? II. Place Place in this plan has an assumption that every community has an unchurched population within it to be reached. This section is for sharing details on what the unique characteristics of the community are that you are hoping to reach, and how the PHILOSOPHY of the church aligns with the needs as well as resources of the community. PLACE also details who the specific unchurched target audience is within that community. The details of PLACE will help identify who good PARTNERS will be. 1

2 Target Area What area is the congregation located? Describe the community/area of your mission. Why do you believe this area is the best possible location for the congregation? What are the parameters of your target area? Use street boundaries or radius from a given point. How is this target area easily accessible from major highways and public transportation systems? Community Profile Obtain an In Our Community demographic study from Lutheran Church Extension Fund and provide the following information: What is the population of the area? What are the population projections for the next 5 years? What is the ethnic/racial make-up of the area? Which ethnic groups are projected to grow rapidly in the next 5 years? What is the economic make-up of the area? What lifestyle groups dominate the area? What are the greatest perceived needs of this area? Which of these needs areas can be addressed by a church? What is the level of faith involvement in your area? What percentage of the target population is already attending a church? What kinds of worship, church programming and architectural features tend to be favored in the area? What are the best ways to communicate with people (advertise) in your target area? Neighborhood Research How many existing churches are in your target area? 2

3 How many churches target the same people-group you are targeting? Contact all other churches in the target area. Which of these churches have started in the last 5 years and how have they fared? For existing churches more than 5 years old, what is the worship attendance during the last 5 years? In the congregational leadership estimation, what is the primary reason for worship attendance? Do these other churches have any specialized ministry areas? What is the closest Lutheran church to your target area and do you have a working relationship with the congregation(s)? List businesses, schools, other churches, community organizations, neighborhood associations, businesses, etc. in this community. Site/Facility Assessment What is your estimated space needs for each main ministry event/gathering? Give square footage for worship, small group gatherings, food service, classrooms, etc. Is the property/facility to be rented, purchased, built, or one that you already own? Describe the property/facility. Provide any available photographs, diagrams, or floor plans of the facility. Is there a correlation between this location and growth? What renovations are necessary to accommodate ministry in this facility? III. Partners (People and Financial Resources) Partners in this plan realize that we can accomplish the mission of our churches better together. Like-minded partners are an important part to healthy and successful congregations. PARTNERS include not only financial partners contributing dollars, space and equipment, but equally important, the people resources that serve as staff, leadership, and volunteers. The availability of good PARTNERS to a congregational ministry will impact the specifics of a PLAN. What partners have been identified to support the congregation? Identify churches, other ministries, neighborhood organizations, community businesses, etc. 3

4 What will each partner contribute in support of the congregation? What level of commitment (time/talent/treasure) are members willing to pledge to the congregation for the next 1-year, 3-years, and 5-years time frame? What physical assets do you have (property, building, etc.) for the ministry? What financial assets do you have for this mission? Explore Possible Funding Streams, Prayer Partners, etc. Attach a detailed budget for the first year of the congregation and a less detailed budget for a minimum of two succeeding years. Budgets should include the following: Income: From other partner congregation, if applicable Grants, bequests, endowments From congregation offerings From capital campaign(s) From other sources (name sources) Expenditures: Worship materials and equipment Educational materials and equipment Facilities (rent, mortgage, upkeep, utilities, etc.) Property and liability insurance Signage Office equipment, letterhead, supplies, etc. Personnel (salaries, benefits, etc.) Outreach and public relations Loan repayment (District and other) Missions (at least 10% of the money received in the offering plate should be earmarked for missions) Other... IV. Plan Timeline (Checkpoints and Specific Goals) Plan is a specific description of the strategies, structures, and methods that will be used for reaching unchurched people within the community and developing them into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. This is the section for describing the specific discipleship process that will be used within the congregation s model being used. The specifics of the PLAN become the best guide for determining the right PERSON for leading specific programs within the mission and ministry of the congregation. Ministry Approach 4

5 What kind of mission/ministry model will you follow to best reach out to this community? Program-based church ministering to people and growing through a variety of church programs. Purpose-based church focusing on the five purposes of a church (outreach, worship, fellowship, discipleship and service). Seeker-based church intentionally targeting specific seeker populations and positioning to respond to their needs. Ministry-based church going out into the community, impacting people s lives, and introducing them to Jesus. Relation-based church networks of home cell groups or house churches that come together for worship. Affinity-based church a church/ministry started for a very specific people group or population segment. What discipleship process will you use to develop the unchurched into fully devoted followers of Jesus? What leadership development process will you use to develop leadership that will support the growth of the congregation? What style or styles of worship will you use to reach your target? Outreach How will you make initial inroads into this community? How will you get to know the people you desire to serve? How will you introduce them to Jesus? What are the felt and actual needs of this community? What are the abilities of this new church to meet one of the community s main needs? What will be the first steps in terms of ministry home Bible studies, day care, children s ministries, athletic leagues/teams, worship, community service, etc.? Marketing How will you advertise in your community? How will you create and maintain a high visibility in your community? 5

6 V. People (Planter and Leadership) How will you use technology (internet/website/etc.) to support your outreach and ministry? When do you hope to begin specific programs that target the community? How many will you have involved in the ministry when you begin implementing your new plan? What is the growth potential of the congregation? (Give estimates for 1- year, 3-years, 5-years, and 10-years from now for the following:) Estimated Average Weekly Worship Attendance Estimated Average Children s Ministry Attendance Estimated Average Bible Study Attendance Estimated Total Preschool and Day School Student Count People in this plan assume that the right person to lead a healthy church is a team. This section provides the details on how the team will work together to implement the PLAN of the congregation. Stated expectations and commitments of every member of the team are described; from the Pastor to members. When clarity of understanding exists regarding the PHILOSOPHY, PLACE, PARTNERS and PLAN for the ministry of the congregation, the PEOPLE will be involved in a healthy church. Structure Lead Pastor Staff How are lead pastor, staff, launch team, and covenant members organized for lines of authority, responsibility, and accountability? Who will lead the congregation s effort? Will this key leader be full-time, part-time, volunteer, or worker/priest? Why is this pastor the right person to lead this congregation s effort? Is the pastor willing/able to indicate the extent of his financial/time commitment to the mission? What additional paid and unpaid staff members are needed and available? 6

7 Congregational Lay Leadership Identify the overall characteristics and manpower of the congregation s lay leadership. What are the stewardship practices (time, talents, and treasure) of the Congregation s Lay Leadership? What is the demonstrated commitment and experience level of the Lay Leadership of the congregation? Adapted from the LCMS National Mission s The One Plan, a Church Planting Strategic Planning Guide 7

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