Market Seventy: Reclaiming the marketplace

FastStart: Spirit-Led Planning

Why You Need It

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD." The transformation journey you have set out on is for the purpose of reclaiming for the Kingdom that which Christ has redeemed through the cross. You and your organization play an integral part and God has specific plans for your role. Intentionally submitting yourself to the Holy Spirit ensures your effectiveness and informs your walk of obedience.

What It Is

Spirit-led Strategic planning retools traditional strategic planning into a conduit for understanding and following God's heart and His purposes for you and your organization. It is a process that places you squarely in reliance on Him for both the plans and the outcomes. It teaches a whole new approach to corporate planning.

What You Have to Know

Spirit-Led Strategic Planning starts with the Spirit of God. Knowing God's values – His heart – is crucial to knowing our own mission. Once we understand God's values in any given situation, we can easily see God's vision by asking the question, "If God's values were in place here, what would it look like?" We begin to see what God sees from His place in eternity. Then, and only then can we ask Him what our mission is to be in bringing that vision into being. That mission statement may be very different from what we would have started with if we were not operating from the Holy Spirit.

No, the next steps are not SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). That process focuses on us and the world. God wants us to trust completely in Him. To do that we need to identify that God-sized vision of the future and walk into it as an opportunity for faith (OFF). In doing so, we and our employees, board, etc. are focused not on what is merely "good," but on what God's best is for our organization. That faith-picture then drives our goals, strategies and action plans.

What You Have to Do

There are three major tasks for you to accomplish before you move on.

1. Pause and seek out God's values and His vision for the sphere of influence in which He has placed you.

2. Seek out those things only God can do and focus your resources on them.

3. Communicate His values and vision in your mission and so equip your staff and/or board to expect to see those apparently impossible results come to pass through your Spirit-Led Strategic Plan.


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Spirit-Led Strategic Planning Teaching

Biblical basis and model for planning

There are numerous examples and models of planning in the Bible, but the book of Genesis has the advantage of hosting two models which encompass the very best of planning, and the very worst. By studying these two examples, we learn a lot about God’s model for planning, what is successful and sustainable, and the kind of planning that overcomes even poor execution.

Holy Spirit Planning

The first planning model is the best of planning and is contained in the account of creation. Genesis 1 – the very first book, the very first verse announces the creation. Even by the most conservative estimates, this occurred at the very least over 6000 years ago. Some scholars place it much further into the past, but the important point is that creation has been successfully sustaining itself for countless generations. It has survived wars, natural disasters, and both the well-meaning and evil-intentioned actions of mankind. What is the key ingredient to planning that provided a framework so effective, efficient and flexible that it has endured to this very day? The answer lies in Genesis 1:2, “…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

The Holy Spirit co-created with God. He hovered over the process. That word for hovers is used in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe the way an eagle protects his nest and prepares his chicks for flight. It is an active verb and it is clear that the Holy Spirit was active in creation. While this may seem a small point, it gains significance when we look at the role of the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture. Jesus describes His role best in John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” A little further on, Jesus says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”(John 16: 13-15).

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A Farmer on World Hunger

40 Chances


On our most recent trip to Uganda, a board member gave me this book to read. Howard Buffet has traveled the world looking at world hunger through a farmer's eyes.  

Buy it today at Amazon.