Is there a conflict between following the leading of the Spirit and creating strategy to accomplish Great Commission goals such as reaching the lost and making disciples? Many see strategic planning as overdependence on the human mind to fulfill God’s plans. God doesn’t need our help, the argument goes. But why then, did God charge the apostles with the task of world evangelization and transformation if He could do it all by Himself? So goes the argument back and forth between acknowledging the power and sovereignty of God and declaring that we as human beings have something to do with the success of God’s plan on the earth. I believe that Dr. Aubrey Malphurs’ latest book Advanced Strategic Planning (3rd edition) helps us find the delicate balance between the two extremes.
In Advanced Strategic Planning, Dr. Malphurs (www.malphursgroup.com)is quite clear: following the Spirit’s leading is vital. There is a time for waiting on God, a time for worship, and a time to build our character through reading and application of the Word. It is then that God gives vision and direction. But once God gives us the vision, He expects us to begin taking practical steps to see that vision come to pass. And it is in the practical steps that so many of us fail. How do you communicate the vision clearly? How do you get a staff on board with the plans God has given you? How do you incorporate the ideas your staff gives you? What if they differ?What happens when the money to fulfill the vision just isn’t there?
Such are the questions that Dr. Malphurs addresses in this book. Change can be scary but it is manageable and useful. What changes does your congregation or ministry need to make so that you reach more people with a relevant Gospel message? Dr. Malphurs draws on his years of experience to help us navigate those changes in a way that is easy to understand.
We don’t have to lay aside the Spirit when planning nor do we discard the mind God has given us. Advanced Strategic Planning serves as a reminder of the balance between Spirit and strategy. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
To purchase the book, go to advancedstrategicplanning.com.