In my ministry, I directly oversaw or had some part in the facility build of 80,000 square feet in three different phases of construction over twelve years. One thing that I learned was the importance of having a master plan to guide phases of expansion. We couldn’t afford to accomplish the entire master plan all in one phase. Just as importantly, the master plan informed our priorities and protected us from doing something that would have costly implications later.
The Winchester house is an example of the opposite. For 38 years, the owner had construction going 24 hours a day in San Jose CA. The house has stairs and doors that go nowhere. In the end, it became a museum and a monument to execution with a lack of planning.
At the same time that I was overseeing facility expansion, I was learning that church vision planning works the same way. A master ministry plan can map out our direction years into the future, even though we can only take some steps now, in phases.
Jesus demonstrated this. We see in Mark 8:31-33, 9:31-32, and 10:32-34 that he knew that his ministry needed to end (Phase 1), so he could go to the cross and rise again (Phase 2), so the church could become his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Phase 3). He and the Father had that master plan from the beginning.
Each church must ask two questions: 1) Do we have a master ministry plan? 2) What is our next phase? Is it staffing changes? A governance transition? A refocusing of disciple making? Leadership development? What____________?
Asking the right questions will lead to the right answers, to stairs that lead somewhere, the next phase of the Father’s master plan.