“Planning” as a word it sounds mundane. “Planning” is time-consuming and conjures up images of preparing taxes. It is not nearly as captivating of a word like “launch” or “ignite”. Yet, without solid, intentional planning, initiatives or ideas can fail to “launch” because no one knew how or what to “ignite”.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. My dad had great business instincts and could sell anything - especially his ideas! My mom was a skilled planner and was always the one to ask “What is the plan?” when my Dad had a bright idea. They were a dynamic duo and I was blessed to see the value of collaboration and the necessity of fusing great ideas with solid planning.
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Luke 14:28-31
I don’t know about you, but I have had a few unfinished towers in my life. Big ideas that had little to no well laid out plans. Those towers crumbled because of the lack of support. I had great intentions but lacked intention. I have learned that as a leader, there are four critically important stages of making plans:
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3
1) Prayer: We need to seek God’s will. We need to remind ourselves that we are limited in our ideas, resources, skills, and abilities and stop to seek counsel from the Creator of the universe and ask Him to guide our path and reveal His plans. God has unlimited resources, unlimited potential, and an eternal perspective. It is foolish of us not to seek the counsel of the wonderful Counsellor. He will affirm for you the “What” and “Why” you need to be doing- otherwise known as VISION.
"Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success." Proverbs 15:22
2) Prepare: We need to ask others to come alongside and share the vision of where we feel God is leading us. We need to accept their questions, thoughts, and concerns. We need to ask permission for their resources, gifting, and talents as we work together to determine the “how” and the “when”. In order to truly partner with others, we have to humble ourselves and admit we as leaders don’t have it all figured out. We are all uniquely and equally gifted by God, but we need to be in community with others to “gett’r done!”
“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Proverbs 18:9
3) Progress: After we have begun to “communicate” our vision we need to “initiate” our preparations. Have you ever been asked about the progress of a plan? The question is really asking “is this thing really going to happen?” or “Are you going to be able to finish that tower?” Simply put, you need to put your foot on the gas pedal and make sure all the wheels are turning. This is not about putting things on cruise control, but checking in on your crew to make sure no one is stuck in the mud, out of gas or journeying off the map.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28
4) Praise! In the end, the beginning and middle of our plans is our awesome God and the power of His Spirit doing a work in and through us. What a joy it is to be able to serve our King as He continues to grow His Kingdom, blessed are we to be able to be part of His plans.
Proverbs 13:16 says, "A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn't and even brags about it!". Planning requires leaders to pray, prepare, progress and continually praise the vision God has set out before them to do. When we put God ahead of our plans, regardless of the outcome, we can rest assured in His leading.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
By Dayna Olson-Brooks
Dayna Olson-Brooks is the Family Ministries Director at Maple Ridge Baptist Church. She is married to her husband Kevin and has two daughters – Olyvia and Bella. Her passion is leading the next generation of leaders to serve God in their fullest capacity possible while remaining humble in servitude, hungry for Jesus, and compassionate to the needs of others.
We will explore more on Prayer at our P3 retreat October 17-19, 2018. I hope you can come and join us as we explore the life-giving gift or prayer as we lead. If you would like to register, please click HERE.