Strategic. The next manifestation of leadership is the word strategic. This manifestation of leadership means that you have to have strategic thinking but it must always lead to action. Much of what you do in church is what you’ve always done. At one time someone wanted this and wanted it to be done in this manner. No area in the church is exempt from the need to think strategically. This does not leave out fun or recreational kinds of items. Because there is a strategic implication to everything that is done. Does everything you do strategically move you in the direction that will assist you in fulfilling the God given vision? Some folks come by strategy and strategizing more naturally than others, yet strategy and strategic planning can be learned. There’s a wide variety of literature and blogs that could help you with the area of strategy and strategic thinking. The greatest lesson that you can get out of this manifestation, is the fact that you do need to use your mind and not just your emoting when it comes to the activities and the actions that you allow. Many times it’s not what you actively plan on doing that is your problem but rather the things that are just allowed to happen.
From the time when the vision is being prayerfully developed and the goals are being discussed is the moment strategy should spring into action. Here is the goal and here is how each area and department will help reach the goal. This is how we are going to move forward. But, we will inspect and expect that all are on the same team. Strategic implementation has a bulldog component. It is synonymous with tenacity. You are keeper and the watchdog of the vision. This is the stuff of leadership. You must keep the leadership team, the staff and your constituents constantly updated on why the church is doing what it is doing. Intentional and strategic are twins. Strategic has an experimental quality to it. Because you have never been here before and you have never moved the direction that you are presently there will be setbacks along the way. These are to be expected and more importantly anticipated! Therefore being strategic means being aware and ready to change, ready to make adjustments, but holding everyone accountable. Vision is not a toy that can be wound up and let go and unattended. It was William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army who said “it is the nature of a fire to go out”. You must strategically continuously and continually stir the embers! All of us are stewards of the fire! There must be a sense that what is happening is making a difference regardless of the how it feels on any particular day. Step-by-step, maybe even incrementally but we are purposefully moving in the direction of the God-given goal! This is essential and one of the ways you move that direction is by being a strategic thinker. Remember that the thinking must lead to action! When thinking strategically, you have to work hard to understand the perspective and interactions of other people in the church, including ones who may be silent or disagree with you. Some of the best lessons I have learned have been from those who disagreed with me. They forced me to look at things in a different way, separate the emotion and hear them and prayerfully examine the content of their message and not to react out of emotion.
Strategically we have to believe that the church has a mission and that you do not reside in your community by accident. You have to know what you believe about the local church. The definition of the local church must include its being and its doing. It certainly exists as something and it does something as well. A congregation is a group of believers gathered together to do something! The church is gathered to fulfill the Great Commission and live the great Commandment which is, to Love God with our whole heart and our neighbors as ourselves. The leader(s) organize the congregation to pursue/fulfill its vision and mission. To enhance productivity means embracing simplicity, not for simplicity sake but for the sake of the Gospel. It was Paul who said “this one thing I do.” He did not say these 15 things I dabble in. The church today is marked by dabbling! To quit dabbling and to get on mission calls for sanctified strategy. A strategy that is not received from a book, but from God through prayer. A strategy that has been discussed and improved by the leadership team.
You can do this pastor, God will help you!