At the district office today five of our people will be attending a seminar on "Strategic Planning for missions." I always look forward to these seminars as our district is really focused on uplifting stewardship and using God's gifts to His glory.
One of my struggles with strategic planning is making sure it fits within our confessional Lutheran theology. If the planning concerns making sure that the building is nice looking and the parking lot kept up, or just about adding staff, then it definately isn't. But it is focuses on how the pastor can continue to be pastor (preaching, teaching, and studying the Scriptures) and how we can add find more effective ways to bring the Gospel. Great.
I'll never forget some council meeting minutes I read from a congregation that stated, "Our goal is to have 400 people in worship every week." This was from the elders. Is that a great goal? absolutely. Does it kind of make it all seem like our work and not God's? Yep! We need to set goals that focus on doing Word and Sacrament ministry better and letting the Office of the ministry do its thing and the priesthood to do theirs. I look forward to seeing what God does today. I know it will be good!