By Thomas Sonni

Founder and President of Greater Mission

What is possible for your parish?

How do you meet your greatest challenges? How do you fulfill your tremendous mission potential? It all begins with a good Pastoral Plan, including your vision, target outcomes, and key strategies. The Pastoral Plan should answer the question, What does God want for your parish? Pastoral Planning requires prayerful listening and thoughtful discernment. The process itself should be streamlined so it can be reviewed and renewed annually; and it should involve, inform and inspire many in your parish.

Where does Pastoral Planning begin?

One of the real struggles for parish leaders in planning is that they get stuck in the immediate realities. The problems of the day and the present circumstances provide an important baseline for your go-forward plan. However, as the famous author Stephen Covey teaches, it’s important to “begin with the end in mind.” What are the most important outcomes to realize? A clear picture of your desired outcomes will really help your parish achieve them. Pastoral Planning invites conversion – change for the better. This isn’t always comfortable. Let’s not forget that we worship a God that sent his Son Jesus to start a Church that would make all things new. “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2Cor5:17)

Download our free Parish Development Plan PDF to read the full article, including the six major elements of a Parish Development Plan.