3 Types of Planning Needed in the Church

PlanningIn my last post, When Your Church Is Stuck in the Mud, I began to talk about the importance of planning.  In a church, there are different kinds of planning, and all types are important. In his book, Here Today, There Tomorrow [1], Dr. Gary L. McIntosh provides a good overview of the 3 main types of planning in a church.

3 Types of Planning Needed in the Church

1.  Standing Plans.  Standing plans are sometimes referred to as policies.  Standing plans assist churches to handle issues that come up frequently, such as weddings, baptisms, and use of facilities.  They also provide direction in emergency situations, such as what to do in case of a fire or if someone is injured on the church campus.  Standing plans make allowance for unexpected situations such as when a decision must be made but those with authority to make decisions are not available.  I personally find that most churches have standing plans in place.  They may or may not be written, but they are understood.

2.  Routine Plans.  Routine plans are often referred to as schedules.  This type of plan predicts what will take place on a daily, a weekly, a monthly, or a yearly time frame.  Churches typically operate with master calendars for worship; adult, youth, and children’s activities; and a host of other ministry functions that take place in a routine manner.  Most churches have become too predictable in this area.  Improvements and changes are generally needed.

3.  New Plans.  This form of planning goes by several names–master planning, long-range planning, strategic-planning, or simply planning ahead.  This is the “engine” area of planning for churches that are STUCK or SINKING!  Years ago, long-range plans meant developing a 5-10 year plan, but in our fast changing world today, long-range is more like 2-3 years.  It is imperative that we make these types of plans, ESPECIALLY if we are a church in need of revitalization.

If you need help in this area, our Church Consulting & Revitalization Team at the Kentucky Baptist Convention specializes in this area.  You can reach me by email or at (502) 489-3471 or toll-free at (866) 489-3571.


[1] Gary L. McIntosh. Here Today, There Tomorrow (Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010), 37-38.

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