Strategic Planning for Growth

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Apparently we are launching an effort based on five streams to slow the rate of attrition within the denomination. And apparently we have asked agency heads and pastors to spearhead the effort. I appreciate the good intentions, but really, how many of them have the highly specialized training of an MBA degree in Marketing from Wharton or the University of Chicago? How many of them have experience with the rigors of demographic analysis, financial trends and sales projections for new products or services? When the VP of Sales and Marketing at Ford lays out the specifications that will appeal to a specific demographic five years in the future, Ford lays out an untold investment in the tooling, production, and promotion of that vehicle based on those specifications. 

Now, I confess that I do not know the skill sets of the individuals who are selling the SPACT program around the country. But I doubt if they have the experience, autonomy, leadership or accountability of a seasoned VP of Marketing. If we employed such an individual, the first question would be how big do you want to grow — how soon? If we say a 50% increase in membership in three years, no problem, the tools are available to make that happen. If we want a 35% increase in the 25 - 35 year old demographic in five years, no problem. If we want a 50% increase in the success rate of church plants in 10 years, no problem. A competent VP of Sales and Marketing is able to make that kind of thing happen.

I can think of all kinds of objections to this approach. But from my perspective, the Lord has given us the tools to make things happen. He is waiting for us to pick the tools up and use them. And he will hold us accountable for failing to capitalize on them. 

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I might agree that putting solutions (5 streams) ahead of analysis may not be a wise move. In defense of SPACT I appreciated the detailed analysis that the denominational office prepared.  Before we jump into action we need to know the situation we are facing.To say,  "pick up the tools and do the job"  is too simplistic. Read Nehemiah.