Isaiah 14:26 This is the purpose (PLAN) that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. 27 For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts (PLANS) that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts (PLANS) of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Many Christians go about their day to day activities without any sense of purpose that they are accomplishing anything. All too often they live their life out with no plan of a better future. If they would take a look at God’s plan of redemption they would realize that He is a Master Planner. Nothing just happened in His sending Jesus to consummate our redemption but everything was planned. Planning is a major step toward changing things as they are in our lives to the way we want them to be and to how God’s Word reveals they can be.
TIPS ON PLANNING
- TAKE TIME TO PLAN
Just as a Pastor must set aside time for prayer, he also must set aside time for planning. It’s not possible to “plan when I have time.” The life of the church depends on the two “P’s:” prayer and planning. The same holds true for our individual lives. It is in prayer where we receive God’s plans Mark 1:35. Prayer without a doubt is the most important, and through prayer comes the ability to get God’s plans. It’s as reasonable to lock your door, unplug your phone or go to a private place to plan as it is to do the same to pray. You must set aside the time for it. You must plan to plan. You can’t set goals and plan without regular time set aside to do it. A certain amount of time each day must be reserved for planning. People who do not plan do not plan to plan. Planning is a form of work. It’s not a matter of “let’s get our planning over with and then we’ll start working.” Planning is not only work, but it is probably the most efficient type of work.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he putteth to more strength, but wisdom is profitable to direct.
It’s much better to work wisely than to expend all your energy, spin your wheels and get nowhere.
- PLANNING MUST BE FLEXIBLE
Regardless of how well we think things through, there is a constant need for monitoring and correction if the goal is to be reached. Plans should never be set in cement. Things change. Unforeseen events take place. Our environment is always changing. Plans made a year ago may not fit what needs to happen now. Planning must never be seen as a one time event but as a process.
Proverb 16:9 The mind of man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps.
If plans are considered as fixed and unchangeable, they will most likely fail. We need to constantly monitor and evaluate our progress to see if we are reaching the goal. If we’re planning to drive a 1000 miles across unfamiliar territory, it’s best to look at the road map once in awhile to measure progress. If we get on the wrong road, we need to adjust. Checkpoints to monitor progress need built into the planning process because planning cannot anticipate every aspect of the future.
Planning involves thinking through what you expect you will need to do, but as you progress, you must constantly evaluate and re-plan to handle things you didn’t see when you began.
- PLANNING IS PEOPLE
The planning process should involve or take into consideration those who will be responsible for their accomplishment. People more readily support what they help to create. It’s easier to get enthused about our ideas than if we are handed someone else’s. When people are involved in the planning process, it gives a sense of “ownership” to them which creates better commitment and stronger motivation to carry out the plans. Our ideas aren’t the only ideas, and many people know more about certain things than we do. As a leader you don’t have to know how everything is to be done, but you do need to know why. There’s a saying in the business world that earmarks the successful endeavors of any organization or department, “Those who know how are usually the ones working for those who know why.” The primary function of a leader is to know why something must be done and not necessarily how to do it. The Lord will always send help who knows how.
Let’s learn to plan in the light of eternity.