THE CONCEPT OF STRATEGY
Strategic Planning is the means by which a church exercises her God-given power of continuous creation to serve eternal purpose.
The concept of strategy originated at least 3500 years before the birth of Christ and in a context far removed from the gospel of peace. It was, and is, a military term--stratos agein--which quite literally, in all its forms, has to do with "leading an army." For the apostle Paul the term carried that literal meaning for the church, albeit in the spiritual realm.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for our weapons of warfare (strategias) are not carnal but mighty in God..." (II Corinthians 10:3-4)
In the early 1960's, corporate America discovered the power of strategic planning in commercial enterprises, probably as the result of the general familiarity with the campaigns of World War II. The unprecedented achievement of corporations since that time is undoubtedly due to the theory and practice of strategic planning. By the 1990's strategic planning was embraced by all sectors of society. However, a stark reality soon become clear: strategy is inevitably limited by purpose and power. In commercial corporations the purpose is profit and the power is material and human resources.
But the church, in her ideal form, has no such limitations. However the promise by Christ to build His church is translated or interpreted, this much is unmistakable; the church, in all her various expressions, is the only entity on earth with a divinely ordained eternal purpose. Furthermore, if the concept of strategic planning is understood historically, etymologically, and scripturally, it quickly becomes evident that the church, by divine intent, is the most powerful force on earth, and the local congregation her primary strategic formation.