A proposed multi-step, iterative process to turn our dreams into reality
IDENTIFY OUR DREAMSWhere do we want to be? If you've ever said something like
- "I really wish that..." or
- "It would be so wonderful if..." or
- "What the church should really be doing is..." then you just might have a dream.
ASSESS OUR CURRENT SITUATIONWhere are we now?
Although directions on Google Maps and Bing Maps are different, they both ask for the same pieces of information: what's your starting point and ending point. We've already got a handle on some places we could go by sharing our dreams, now we need to know where we currently are. While the goal of this assessment is not to be negative (the goal is to be honest and accurate), negative things are sure to come up. That's OK, because it is an acknowledgement that things could and should be better. No blame, no pointing fingers, no guilt - just a hard look at where we really are. Metrics, attitudes, facilities, culture, history - it's all on the table.
FORMULATE A PLANHow to go from where we are to where we want to be.
Starting from the entire list of dreams, we'll narrow it down to the ones that we agree - as a family - are most worthy of our efforts AND that we agree God has positioned us to achieve as a result of the people, passion and resources he has blessed us with. There should be a fairly lengthy list of dreams, but we've got to start somewhere.
Next, we'll define what things need to happen to get us from where we are to where we want to be - skills refined, items purchased, attitudes changed, etc.
Next, we'll define how we will do the things that need to happen. These become the actual plans, the action items and the people doing them, that get us from where we are to where we want to be. We will determine what things are sequential and therefore what needs to be done first, and if we need to distort other resources to any of these things to accomplish them in a timely fashion. We will also determine what things can be done in parallel.
Here is where we answer the question "How to do What because of Why?"
PUT THE PLAN INTO ACTIONAll aboard! This train is leaving the station.
Now that we know where we are, where we want to be and how we're going to get there, let's get the journey started. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
We will use an online goal tracking program so that progress can be easily reported, tracked and visualized.
POSTMORTEMWhat went right, what went wrong, what can we learn for next time?
Hopefully, our plans embody wisdom and our execution is the very definition of efficiency. More than likely, though, mistakes will have been made along the way. That's OK, let's just do our best to identify where and why things got off track, and see if we can figure out some ways to avoid repeating those things in the future. Let's learn together how to do better, and produce our own Guidelines and Best Practices.
REPEATNow that we have a taste of what's possible, what ELSE is possible?
When we come out of the other end of this process, God will have used the dreams and imagination of our church to increase or faith, expand his kingdom and lift our eyes to greater realities around us. What better thing could we do than allow him to do it all over again?
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe