PHASE 4: MVOGs (1-2 months)

Greetings Valley Ridge District,

In the last three messages, I discussed the strategic phases of People, Purpose, Research, and SWOT -Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats(linked here: Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3

In the next phase, the Strategic Planning Team will set the Mission, Vision, Goals and Objectives (MVOGs) based on the research and SWOT Analysis performed in the previous phases. Remember, we are doing this to move our churches from survive thrive. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!

First, develop or revise a Mission Statement. What is the primary mission of the church. Biblical? Matt 28:19-20. Do you have one? Is your mission relevant? Is it current? Is it faithful? Is it realistic? 


Second, develop a Vision Statement: Contextualize the mission to your local area. How are you executing your mission in Staunton, Roanoke, Giles or Augusta Counties. The District. 


Third, develop tangible Goals and Objectives: Three to four doable goals with specific actionable objectives that are SMART: 





T-Time based


Here are some sample goals/objectives. They are intended as examples and may not necessarily fit your church:

  • Visibility and marketing. Flyers. Tell your story to the community.  Pastor Jonathan Greer at Cherryvale UMC has a great model by sending 1,800 flyers out letting the community know the church is there for everyone OR use Facebook to boost capacity to make your message hit a large audience.
  • Hospitality. Spend time thinking about whether you underwhelm or overwhelm visitors. Consider developing a hospitality goal, and step by step objectives. Are we a welcoming congregation, and/or can we it do better via hospitality not only at the door on Sundays, but throughout the week.
  • Relational. What "non church” type events can we have to integrate into the community beyond a fund raiser (which I know has many other benefits such as fellowship, and connectedness, and making the church visible). Block Party. Outdoor caroling to Senior Citizens facilities. Beach party on the lawn. Egg hunt.  Playborhood (Rev. Logan Hollenbeck in Salem does this well).  Outdoor worship. Valentines Dinner? St Patrick’s Day. Halloween? Progressive Dinner outdoors. Events at local restaurants. Handing change out at local laundromats (I saw a church in Maryland do this), turning some spaces into usable laundry mats. Think outside of the box. This might be a goal, with the objective being a monthly or every other month event specifically planned. (Getting into the community more intentionally counters the threat of less and less people seeing the need for church--not returning after COVID).


The last part of this phase is to evaluate your goals and objectives. Evaluate. Always make sure to set a date near the end of the year to evaluate how your goals and objectives went. Did they align with the mission? Were the goals and objectives met? Evaluations make us better and better with each passing year. 

Rev. Dr. Dale C. White

Director of Congregational Excellence

Valley Ridge District, Virginia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church

[email protected]