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hope for churches in stress

Making Music

A single musician can play by ear. A jazz combo excels in improvisation. By contrast, an orchestra needs written musical scores.

To mobilize a whole church, something similar to a musical score is needed—a plan.

Every church has a God-given calling or vocation. For your church, talk together about deeply-felt desires to articulate a clear and simple statement of purpose.

On this bedrock, build vision. As God works, what do you see ahead? Imaginative glimpses of the future can coalesce into a vision of what God wants to do.

Consider action steps. What can you do now to move toward the outcomes you envision?

Project targets. This may include broad goals for the whole church and specific goals for particular endeavors.

Mull over priorities. In order to concentrate limited resources on high priorities, ask: Which efforts are producing the best results? Which ones are making the best connections with unchurched people? List all current and projected activities in priority order.

Now deal with low priorities. This may require tough decisions to repurpose or phase out activities that are no longer needed.

The best plan is dynamic. Every year, with your purpose as the measure, evaluate outcomes, push vision forward, set new action steps, and refocus on high priorities.

Like writing music, composing a plan is hard work—a mix of inspiration and perspiration. Yet when the work is done, a plan for your church can lead to the glorious sound of God’s people working together in concert.

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