Greetings Valley Ridge District,

Over the next four weeks, I will lay out some strategies for pastors and laity to move from good to great, survive to thrive. None of these steps is intended to give easy answers. They are intended to help church leadership teams think strategically in implementing our mission to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.


PEOPLE: In order to execute a strategy, a group of committed, accountable people is needed to form a Strategic Leadership Ministry Team. In his book “Advanced Strategic Planning for Church and Ministry Leaders,” Dr. Aubrey Malphurs suggests that the team be made of a diverse group of 5-10

deeply spiritual leaders/members, including

  • Pastor(s) and staff
  • Lay Leadership/Lay Servants
  • A senior matriarch/patriarch who believes the church matters to GOD and them,
  • A talented corporate person with leadership skills

The group should include women, men, newcomers and long term members, youth and seniors, all deeply faithful who attend Bible study and/or other faith nurturing events.

PURPOSE: Once the Strategic Leadership Ministry Team members are solidified, the team should begin with defining the church’s purpose. In other words, start with WHY?

  • Why does this specific church exist?
  • Why did our ancestors build a church here?
  • Why does GOD need this church at this place and time?
  • Why does each member attend this church?
  • Why does the community need this church (has anyone asked the community members/business owners this question)?

These questions need to be answered to lay the foundation for establishing a mission/vision/objectives and goals in the next phases.

Rev. Dr. Dale C. White

Director of Congregational Excellence

Valley Ridge District, Virginia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church