My Advance Planning Document Was Amazing. My Advance Planning Document Was Useless

I spent yesterday morning with my advance planning document. This is something I came up with about a year ago as a tool for organizing all the tasks related to all the projects in a youth ministry. For example, the retreat is scheduled for March, so I schedule the registration period, the travel accommodation, and a meeting to plan the event.

I had such hopes for this when I came up with it a year ago. Yet it did not make this past year run smooth as butter. Why not?

I don’t think anyone’s idea of a vibrant ministry is one where everything that’s going to happen is pegged to a calendar a year out. Vital communities can be spontaneous, whereas my advance planning document was quite rigid.

Second, the tingle of satisfaction you derive from typing a bunch of projects onto a calendar and then strategically slotting the months you’re going to execute tasks related to those projects: that’s not ministry. That’s a video game.

I’m trying it again for next year, but scaled back. I’m dropping the pretension that I have a template for success here to be replicated year after year. It’s a rough guide for one particular season.



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