Annual Outreach Planning Guide
When I first read the title of this resource on the syllabus I thought, “Well, that can’t be all that bad.” The reality is that I think that this is one of the best ministry planning resources I have seen. I think that it was much easier to understand and walk through than other “heavier-duty” books. I really liked the fact that the publishers included the c.d. to allow you to print “fresh” handouts, instead of copy machine handouts (small benefit, but still a benefit).
As I walked through the binder I was very happy with the organization of the material. It really followed a logical thought and planning process. I really was excited to see the steps that were included. The Where are we? step really got my excitement level up. I really feel that this will be beneficial for my church. The templates for community demographics to find out who really lives in our community will be very helpful. The examples were great and very helpful in giving me/others an idea of what the process could look like.
The vision step was very informative. It is so important to figure out where you could be with God’s help. This is a good reminder to think about a preferred future in your ministry context. It seems that most people don’t think about such a step, but instead just keep plugging along.
The mission step was one of the best explanations of what a mission statement is. I have read resources before where the author spends a chapter debating with himself about the difference between mission, vision, and purpose. This was very simple and straightforward. I was very impressed with how the whole resource meshed together. It really was very well thought out. I really appreciate this resource.
There are definitely uses that I will have for this resource. Since I think that it was so well laid out and uncomplicated I am very interested in using it to help implement an outreach strategy in our church. After working through a process like this in the past, (that was a bit more complicated) I am really optimistic about the potential of using this resource to clear up some possible confusion and gain greater unity of purpose.
I am hoping to sit down soon with ministry leaders in the church and begin to work through the prescribed process. I have to admit I am not sure about determining vision with a larger group of people. Obviously this is something that I need to be in prayer about. I know that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors, and there is greater ownership when there is personal investment. There was one vision statement and mission statement (same statement with a few minor differences) that made me take notice and say, “that’s it ” I don’t know if that is what the other included leaders would say that it is.
I am going to be taking this next month or two to be praying for the leaders that will be involved in this process of determining an outreach strategy for the church. This is in the hope that God’s vision for the church that He has given me passion for will become the vision of the church as a whole.