Skip to content
Blog » Church Strategic Plans: Why You Need One & How to Build One

Church Strategic Plans: Why You Need One & How to Build One

Effective Stewardship starts with a strategic plan

Part 1 of 3

Are you ready to fulfill your church’s unique mission and purpose? For the same reason that you follow a roadmap to guide your travel plans across the country is exactly why your church needs a strategic plan. When a church loses direction, it’s costly in more ways than one, and few will follow someone who doesn’t know where they’re going. By creating a logical plan that gets you from where you are to where God wants you to be, you will be closer to reaching your church’s potential and positively impacting your community.

Leaders need to know what a strategic plan looks like. The Church Strategic Plans: Why You Need One & How to Build One guide analyzes how they provide clarity of purpose, effective leadership behaviors, value alignment, and priority identification. Let’s take a look at what makes up the why and how:


Your purpose statement should be the foundation of your strategic plan. It’s your “why” – why does your church exist? While all churches are called to fulfill the Great Commission by making disciples, your church’s unique purpose is the specific way God has called you to do this. Peter and Paul were both apostles, but their ministries looked different because God called them to reach different people in different ways.  A clear purpose statement helps everyone in your congregation understand your organization better and know why your church exists.

Every church leader and every church has values. Values are your “how” – they inform your behaviors as you work towards fulfilling your purpose. A good strategic plan names those values so that everyone from those with church administrator roles to church members knows how the church wants to accomplish it’s why. Your why and how go together hand in hand. By identifying your core values, you’ll ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals in the same ways.

What’s data have to do with it? 

Remember when you wondered, Why is technology important for churches? And look at what you’ve accomplished with the assortment of tech tools! Data matters, and it should continue to inform decisions all along the way. When your church has goals and objectives, or in other words, the specific outcomes you want to achieve through your strategic plan, they’ll help you make better decisions. Think about it, there’s a reason the Bible tells us that Jesus had 12 disciples, 120 were in the upper room, and 3,000 souls were saved on the day of Pentecost. By setting measurable goals and objectives, you’ll be able to track your progress and adjust your plan as needed with data.

What’s the plan? 

An action plan is a roadmap that outlines the steps you’ll take to achieve your goals and objectives. By breaking down your plan into actionable steps, you’ll be able to hold yourself and your team accountable for achieving the desired outcomes. While every church’s strategic plan will differ, some key components should be included:

Purpose Statement: This is your WHY. Why does your church exist? Your purpose statement should be specific to your church. It should outline how you plan to fulfill the Great Commission of making disciples. Like you have been called to serve.


Remember, these are your HOW. Values are the guiding principles that guide the behavior of your ministers and volunteers. They should be aligned with your purpose statement.

SWOT Analysis: 

Conducting an analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) will identify the internal and external factors that will impact your church’s success.

Goals and Objectives: 

By setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART) goals and objectives you will enable your church to achieve its purpose.

Action Plan: 

Developing an action plan which outlines the specific steps you will take to achieve your goals and objectives.

Monitoring and Evaluation: 

This is where data comes into play so you can regularly review and adjust steps in the strategic plan. Measuring the progress and how they are lining up with your end goal. 

Strategic plan flipside?

Without a strategic plan, your church will experience any number of pitfalls. Including ministries fighting for resources, increased staff conflicts, declining engagement, and talented people on the sidelines instead of using their gifts. And, worst of all, the church may fail to accomplish anything lasting – like making disciples.. A church should want to articulate and provide clarity of purpose, desired leadership behaviors, alignment on where you are going, and priorities on how to get there. A good church strategic plan is essential to fulfill your purpose and reach your high calling in Christ. 


It’s easy to look at the chaos of the world and wonder about your church’s ability to impact it. The Apostle Peter wrote this to the first-century church: “We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power when we learned that He had invited us to share in His wonderful goodness.” A strategic plan can help your church unleash the unique gifts God has given your church for impacting the world. We value the opportunity to walk beside you. And help you discover that call and the gifts He has given you to fulfill it. We will continue to provide church technology, conduct research, create guides. As well as deliver more Church Growth Resources to spur you onward.

Church Strategic Plans



If you’re like most church leaders, developing a strategic plan can be overwhelming. So we’ve developed a FREE short guide to help you think through how to create an effective strategic plan for your church’s ministry.

We layout:

  • The costs of not having a strategic plan for your church.
  • The components of a great strategic plan.
  • How to put together the right team to create an effective plan.

Steve serves as ACS Technologies​’​ Vice President of Data. He has been with the company since 1982 and started in the programming department. Steve has a degree in management science from the University of South Carolina. And a master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *