Outreach Skill #2: The Essential Guide to Strategic Planning for Outreach Coordination (Part 1)

Outreach coordination often feels like a whirlwind of point solutions without a broader strategic framework. Assembling teams, arranging transportation, booking venues, and troubleshooting issues consumes all available bandwidth. While fighting daily fires, it’s easy to neglect thoughtful planning and preparation.

Implementing a strategic planning process is the key to proactive and effective ministry instead of perpetual reaction mode. Aligning goals across the organization reduces wasted efforts. Evaluating circumstances objectively and shaping a coordinated path forward leads to greater kingdom impact with available resources.

What is Strategic Planning?

Strategic planning is a systematic process for determining an organization’s direction and allocating resources over 3-5 years. Key elements include:

Vision – The desired future state. Where do we want to be long-term?

Mission – The purpose and aim. Why do we exist?

Core Values – Guiding principles that shape decisions. What do we stand for?

Goals – Outcomes to accomplish based on the vision and mission.

Strategies – Broad approaches or focus areas to achieve the goals.

Action Plans – Specific activities carried out to implement the strategies.

The process balances big picture aspirations with practical steps rooted in current realities. Regularly revisiting and updating the strategy keeps efforts targeted on the most vital priorities.

The Strategic Planning Process

  1. Assess the current state – Gather data on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through SWOT analysis, surveys, interviews and other research.
  2. Define the vision and mission – Articulate the desired future state and clarify why the organization exists.
  3. Set goals and strategies – Determine 3-5 priority goals based on the vision and mission. Develop broad strategies to achieve each goal.
  4. Implement action plans – Outline detailed action steps, owners and timeframes to carry out the strategies.
  5. Monitor and adapt – Track progress on goals and strategies. Adjust as needed based on internal and external changes.

Benefits of Strategic Planning for Outreach

Applying this process to outreach efforts yields many advantages:

  • Targeted goals – Efforts align instead of working at cross-purposes
  • Wiser resource allocation – Time, money and people deploy to what matters most
  • Long-term perspective beyond just quarterly campaigns
  • Measurable outcomes to evaluate success
  • Role clarity for team members
  • Proactive responses by anticipating external shifts
  • Improved local partnerships through aligned vision

With intentional planning, outreach leaders can shape a more fruitful future instead of bouncing between demands. Defining the ideal objectives and path equips the team to execute efficiently. Although change inevitably requires course corrections, strategy provides a compass to guide decisions.

Application Questions

  • How would you assess your current strategic planning proficiency on a 1-10 scale?
  • What obstacles commonly prevent dedicated time for strategic thinking and planning?
  • Which elements of the strategic planning process are you already doing effectively? Which need development?
  • What benefits do you hope strategic planning could provide for your outreach coordination efforts?
  • How can you create space for annual or quarterly strategic planning review even when schedules are crowded?

Next Steps in the Journey

Executing strategic planning well develops over time through practice and discipline. Persist through the learning curve. The destination is ministry characterized by wisdom, unity and kingdom focus. Let strategy chart the course.

Go to Essential Missional Leadership Skills for Outreach

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