What is Visioning, or strategic planning, anyway? Visioning is a process that leads to a clear and documented statement of direction for your congregation or nonprofit. Visioning takes a deep dive into discovering:
- Who are we?
- Who do we serve?
- What do we stand for?
- What is God calling us to do or become next?
- What is the context in which we do ministry or provide services?
Visioning describes your mission, vision, and values and designs the long-term goals and action plans needed to fulfill them.
A well-formulated Visioning process can take six months to a year to complete. A good plan may be worth the investment of time and energy because it helps to clarify the differences you are trying to achieve and helps prioritize where to invest limited resources.
However, Visioning is not always the right thing to do in every situation. A poorly formed strategic plan is a waste of time and resources. And a well-formed plan that isn’t ultimately executed is also a waste of time.
Visioning is meant to guide stable congregations and organizations through long periods of adaptation. Visioning is not a good option when:
- You are in the middle of a crisis. Resolve the crisis first!
- You do not have Board buy-in. Work to get them on-board. Your Board needs to take responsibility for the direction of a Visioning
- You don’t have time and resources to devote to the process. Be prepared to carve out the time to engage the congregation and community.
If you are not ready or in a good position to launch a Visioning process, it does not mean to do nothing! You can experiment with other actions like:
- Making some incremental adjustments to current strategies.
- Create a new strategy to compliment your current ministry or services.
- Not continuing things that simply are not working.
If you’d like to have a conversation around this topic, don’t hesitate to email me and we’ll set up a time to talk.
John V. Clark, President/Partner
The James Company