Mar 15, 2012

Planning for the Future...

"If you fail to plan you plan to fail." This is a very popular saying. But is it true? What does it mean when you plan and plan and plan and then the plan goes in an entirely different direction? Is that failure?

How many times have you planned to go somewhere and then had a flat tire, or an accident? For most of us, these events are unplanned.

In 2008, Christ Lutheran Vail undertook a strategic planning process. We looked at who we are and what we hoped God wanted us to accomplish. We then set up committees to get there. It was a great thing. Hurray!! We had a PLAN. But while much of the plan has been accomplished, a lot of it changed.

In 2008 we had no idea that the economy would turn south for so long. We had no idea that the growth planned for the Vail area would change so dramatically. How does one plan for that? But there was a silver lining in all of this. In 2008 we looked at every parcel of land in the Vail area that was available for purchase greater than 5 acres. I think there were six of them. None of them seemed right for our congregation. Our best bet was with The Passages of Tucson. But then when the recession hit, God opened up a parcel of land that was perfect! So the plan failed. Right? Well, not so quick.

During the planning process, our congregation invested a tremendous amount of time looking at what our facility needs would be. We looked at land prices. We looked at what could be built. We looked at partnering with The Passages to purchase land. We looked at construction costs. We peered into the future and thought about it. So when our parcel of land opened up, we had done the homework necessary to react quickly and purchase it. If we had not planned, we wouldn't have known what to do when the right opportunity did come along.

So even if the plan goes in an entirely different direction, the education learned from the planning process is priceless.

The Bible doesn't say a whole lot about planning, but one thing is clear. It is from James, Chapter 4:13-15. Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

Really the only plan that fails, is the ones that God isn't directing. As we begin the process to update our 2008 Strategic Plan, may we continually pray for His guidance.

Blessings,

Pastor David Hook