Strategic Planning Scenario 2: Joe decides to give your church a try. He pulls his family out of bed and they manage to get to your parking lot with only two bouts of sibling rivalry and one heated disagreement with Jane, his wife. As they drive up to your church (a few minutes early) Joe and Jane can’t help but notice the condition of the building, the parking lot and landscaping. They aren’t really trying to be critical- its just that they haven’t darkened a church door in many years, they really don’t know what to expect, and they are just a little nervous; so details are a lot more noticeable than they might normally be.
So now is a great time to ask the same questions in Strategic Planning Scenario 1. How are you feeling about their first look at your church? Nervous? Embarassed? Perhaps confident or pleased? You’ve heard it said that first impressions are important; but it’s not often we would equate a few weeds or uncut grass as an opportunity to turn someone away from Christ. Yet that is exactly what could happen in this situation.
Core Value: Excellence. When we choose to do things with excellence it tells everyone around us that what we are doing is somehow important to us (and God). This cues them in that it should perhaps be important to them as well. It is a Core Value that sets the stage for an open heart. Conversely, if we choose to do things average or half-heartedly the impression of our guests and attendees is “where I am and what is going on here isn’t really that important”, simply because we didn’t give it our best in preparation.
What does this have to do with Strategic Planning? Everything. Your strategic plan is going to identify your core values (like excellence) as well as help to develop plans and systems to get the little things done with the least amount of weight and work on your part.