Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Peter Drucker in his book Non-profit Management emphasizes how strategy and vision must both be in place for effective ministry.
But, I have noticed that church leaders often wax poetic on mission/vision – yet spend little time conducting the basics of strategic planning such as a SWOT analysis.
This week I was joined by nationally-known pastor Nelson Searcy on my annual tour of England on the “Land and Leadership of Wesley” tour. I am always amazed how Nelson has such a good mix of vision (strategic leadership) and tactical leadership (a leadership ability to make specific fiscal assessments and to craft concrete goals. Did you know John Wesley was the same way?
It seems like churches are often full of dreams but with few concrete plans to get there. This is probably because most pastors are ‘strategic leaders.’ Now, there is nothing wrong if a lead pastor is a strategic leader (e.g. ‘visionary’ in orientation) … as long as that pastor partners with a ‘tactical’ leader to form an effective team.
For examples of ‘strategic, tactical and operational leaders’ (plus a short quiz to discover who in your team is which) see Preparing for Change Reaction (Whitesel, 2010).
I also wrote a helpful chapter on strategic management in The Church Leader’s MBA (Ohio Christian Univ. Press, 2009). There I explained how churches can easily conduct the basics of strategic planning: a SWOT analysis.
Here is the quote by Peter Drucker that sums up the importance of strategic leadership:”
Peter Drucker states, “Good intentions don’t move mountains; bulldozers do. In non-profit management, the mission and the plan – if that’s all there is – are the good intentions. Strategies are the bulldozers. They convert what you want to do into accomplishments… St. Augustine said one prays for miracles but works for results.” (Drucker, 1990).