Without a Plan You Will Fail

Without a Plan You Will Fail

You have never faced challenges like you are facing right now and without a plan you will fail.

Most churches today struggle financially due to a lack of planning!  In 2012 I published a book entitled, “The Top Ten Stewardship Mistakes Churches Make.”  I’m sure you read it or at least saw the movie.  I wrote a chapter for each mistake I encountered when working with churches.  Chapter five was brilliantly entitled, “Lack of Planning.”

Here is a quote from that chapter that sums up well what I find in the average church.

“You can ask the typical pastor to give you a plan of action for just about everything under the sun and they will lay it out for you. Yet if you ask, what is your plan for stewardship, most will struggle to give you any kind of answer. The sad reality is that most churches have no set consistent plan of action toward increasing funds for their ministries.”

What is your plan?  I want to use post to help you think through the development of your plan of action.

Get a plan and work your plan has long been one of my Brooks mantras.  I recognized early on that few leaders I was working with had any plans for achieving financial stability.  Now as we are all battling through COVID19 the lack of planning is showing up revealing how precarious our financial stability is.  I have long contended that,

Failure to plan is planning to fail.  Having been a pastor for over 20 years I get how hard it is to do one more thing.  The Tyranny of the Urgent keeps most church leaders from developing a stewardship plan.  The mistake of a lack of planning then causes another mistake. 

A failure to plan leads to the mistake of being reactive when we need to be proactive.  Again, COVID19 revealed this.  Too many churches are scrambling to recover.  By now we should realize that we are experiencing tremendous disruption.  You need a plan moving forward.  Failing to have a stewardship plan in place endangers the future of your church.  Now more than ever you must have a stewardship plan of action.  Let’s talk about the basics of a stewardship plan.

Good stewardship plans have an immediate and future focus.  Years ago, I moved away from considering myself as a capital campaign consultant to viewing myself as a generosity specialist.  I tell those that engage me for capital campaigns that I am just as passionate about this week’s offering as I am raising millions of dollars.  At the same time for those that I am helping with this week’s offering I can and do help raise capital dollars for future plans.  It is not either or but both and. 

Here are some suggestions on how to plan for the immediate.  When I start serving as a church’s Minister of Generosity, I advise them to think seasonally and quarterly when it comes to a stewardship plan.  I follow this basic yearly timeframe and then flesh out plans around each.

  • Start of year strategy – I like to focus in January on a recurring giving push.  At the same time, I recommend an approach that I call, Six Weeks to Giving Success, that culminates with a special offering push around Valentine’s Day.
  • Easter giving planning – I want to use the day with our largest attendance strategically to not only increase giving but to gain new donors.
  • Summer planning – Starting in May I encourage another recurring giving push.  I follow that with an emphasis on the 15 offerings of summer.  There were 16 this year.
  • Come from behind planning – In August I want to start planning and implementing a plan to make up whatever lost ground we have experienced from summer.  I want to assure fall ministries are financially undergirded. Check out this tool, https://acts17generosity.com/shop/recovering-the-lost-offering-of-covid-19/
  • End of year planning – This starts in October and begins implementation in early November through December 31st.

Let me end with another Brooks mantra,

The church that survives into the future is the church that plans today for tomorrow! Remember, without a plan you will fail! I can help you start that planning. Contact us today!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach