There are two kinds of people in the world: those who have a plan and those who don’t. Tony Morgan’s book, Developing a Theology of Planning, does a great job making the case that if you’re in ministry, you must have a strategy in order to succeed. He says:
“The truth is, hope is a terrible strategy to grow, develop and multiply what God has entrusted to us as leaders.”
The book speaks mainly to senior leaders and lead pastors, and strategically lays out the importance and advantage of leading with a plan. In addition to sharing what he’s learned over the years about planning, Morgan gives a lot of biblical support for planning as well.
It’s a very quick read, but there’s a lot to process, especially if you’re a leader who might need some convincing on whether all this effort is worth it. The chapters are laid out logically, first making the case for why planning is necessary and what the Bible says about it, and then presenting the fruits of a well-executed ministry strategy.
There are two audiences that would benefit most from this book:
Individual Senior Leaders
Leaders who have operated with a ministry plan of “hope” for years will be challenged by this book. It requires leaders to look at their current strategy and past successes and failures. This could be difficult for some, but based on the biblical evidence that Morgan provides, it would be hard for a leader to finish this book and continue operating without at least taking a step towards a more biblical way of doing ministry.
This book would be a great resource for leadership teams who struggle in this area. There is a series of questions at the end of the book designed for teams to discuss that will force a thorough examination of the church’s ministry plans.
One downside to expect from the book is that Morgan does not offer much to develop your church’s individual plan. That should be expected though, since every church and every plan will look different.
The important thing and what he does well is to create a sense of urgency that will motivate leaders to take a good look at their theology when it comes to planning. He puts it into perspective this way:
“When you adopt a theology of planning, you begin to understand that God’s vision also comes with the responsibility to work that out through the people and resources he has provided to you.”
If you’re already a planner, this book probably won’t tell you much you don’t already know. But it may help back up what you believe with scripture and Morgan’s own experience. This can be vital when leading the charge for change in your own church.