The Episcopal Diocese Commits to Missional Church Strategic Planning
In September of 2011, the Diocese embarked on a new strategic planning process to provide resources to churches for the development of their own strategic plans around being a “Missional Church”.
Reggie McNeal of Leadership Network located in Dallas formerly introduced the missional church concept. Mr. McNeal who has written several books launched his newest book in 2010 entitled, Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church.
McNeal focuses on three significant shifts that will enable congregations to become a truly missional church. The three shifts are: 1) from internal to an external focus, 2) from running programs and ministries to developing people as its core activity and 3) from church-based leadership to community- engaged leadership.
The Diocese piloted the planning effort by inviting eight churches to join a work and planning session with Reggie McNeal in September 2011. The churches in attendance included, Ascension Dallas, St. Paul’s Prosper, St. Nicholas Flower Mound, St. Anne’s Desoto, St. Mark’s Irving, St. Paul Waxahachie, St. Andrew’s McKinney and Good Shepherd Terrell.
Since that time, most of the churches have formed strategic planning teams and are well on their way to forming action plans around the three shifts as Reggie McNeal defines. In addition, the Diocese trained 10 facilitators in “Results-Based Conversation” (Wildworks, 2011), a technique and process to assist churches with their planning process.
In February of this year, most of the original eight churches came together for a planning update meeting at Ascension Dallas. At this time, each parish gave an update on their progress and Rev. Kai Ryan provided a summary power point reviewing missional church concepts and challenges. By the end of the session, churches broke out into their teams and continued developing action plans specific for their church. Overall, great conversation and discussion was generated during the half-day event.
As the eight churches continue their work, a September 8th half-day workshop is being planned to include the first group of churches as well as five additional churches who will be invited into the process.
Missional Church Strategic Planning