Thanks for joining this week’s unSeminary podcast. We’re talking with Allie Bryant from Trader’s Point Christian Church. Although they have six campuses in Indianapolis, currently four are opened along with church online due to covid.
Allie is the Strategic Alignment Executive for Traders Point and she loves getting the right people in the room to talk about the right things. Today she’s with us to talk about strategic planning – doing the right work to make sure the church is attaching actions to its vision and focusing on advancing the mission.
- Organize the execution of the vision. // In the church world people are always asking, how do we get the right work done, move faster and pivot better, but also, how do we do it well? This is where strategic alignment comes in so that we can execute well on the vision at our churches. When trying to figure out how to do the right work, we need to organize it in such a way that we’re not burning out our people or running out of resources. As you plan your strategy, constantly go back to the mission and vision so you don’t waste time or resources.
- Connect your work to the vision. // We all have an “operating system” running in the background at our churches whether we realize it or not. The question is, how effectively is it running in your organization? Traders Point is upgrading their operating system to become centralized in a way that lets everyone understand the mission, vision, strategy, and how each staff member’s work attaches to the strategy.
- Quarterly ministry plans. // Quarterly ministry plans allow the Traders Point staff to condense what they are doing into a quarter. During this time they figure out two or three key things that can move them forward, and those are the limited things that the staff prioritizes. From there they evaluate how they did in tackling their goals.
- Develop action steps. // Quarterly ministry plans each have an owner and a project manager who look at the strategy each quarter and decide what to focus on. What do you need for that strategy? What is the goal, and what is needed to plan it? Lay out action steps about a month before the new quarter starts. Then for accountability, have weekly 30-minute meetings with your team to discuss everyone’s status reports.
- Decision-making matrix. // Traders Point has created a decision-making matrix to help with alignment when there is conflict between ministries and what they might want to do. There are four categories of decision-making that help the staff understand who makes the decision and how a decision was made. Traders Point will also have a stakeholder meeting that allows the ministries involved to have a conversation and decide what compromises could be made to help each group achieve their goal. To help with these decisions Traders Point is gradually incorporating Agile methodology within their organization as well.
- Slow down and get aligned. // Some projects and initiatives may take longer than a quarter. Be realistic about what you can complete. If you find that you are behind on what you hoped to achieve in a quarter, the first three months can focus more on discovery, which allows you to determine what the problem is that needs to be solved. Continue to have that strategic conversation, but recognize you may need longer to execute on your plan.
- Strategic calendar. // This calendar first looks at spiritual themes. There are certain seasons where you plant and certain seasons where you harvest. Many new people tend to come into the church between August and January and this helps with planning out sermon series. Then the quarterly ministry plans are laid out to determine what is needed to help support the themes each quarter.
- Efficient meetings. // Meetings are where work gets moved forward and decisions are made, but there are some thing you can do to make them really effective. First, have an agenda ahead of time that lets people know what you’re planning to talk about, what was discussed in the last meeting, and the goal of the current meeting. What is the problem you’re trying to solve? Communicate who will be attending the meeting, what are people’s responsibilities and what the expectations are. Be sure to drive towards next steps before the meeting wraps up.
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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Leadership Pathway
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