...the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
It is important in the planning process to involve the whole congregation to accomplish the church's purpose. This way an atmosphere is created which implies doing the right thing and doing it right is everybody's job.  So where should we begin?
I will begin the discussion process linking together a possible vision statement to our mission projects and yearly goals. For our vision statement I am suggesting "Making Disciples for Jesus Christ" based on Matthew 28:19.
One goal is already being developed based on Matthew 28:19. Discussions have started in the Christian Education committee about our youth participating in a mission trip every two years. When it comes to mission projects nothing beats a first hand experience to help our teenagers mature in the Christian faith. Making disciples is a long process.
In the area of long term growth, a prospect list is vital for each Sunday school and Bible study class. A prospect list is designed to accomplish two things:
1: Individual class members consider those families, relatives, associates and neighbors who do not have a church. Their contact information is added to the prospects list kept by each class.
2: Parties or informal gatherings are held 3-4 times a year outside the church setting. People from the prospect list are then called and invited to attend. These gatherings outside the church reduce anxiety new people might feel having to enter a class without knowing anyone.
Church and Ministry Strategic Planning, by R. Henry Miglore, Ph.D., Robert E. Stevens, Ph.D., and David Loudon, Ph.D., pg 26.