30-60-90 Planning

Leading Beyond the Blizzard

Andy Crouch wrote an article soon after Covid 19 began talking about the stages that we can go through during Covid. One thing he pointed out is the need for churches to be able to pivot quickly as things change and the need to plan not just for a blizzard but for winter.

Below is a summary of the article.

  • The novel coronavirus is not just something for leaders to “get through” for a few days or weeks. Instead, we need to treat COVID-19 as an economic and cultural blizzard, winter, and beginning of a “little ice age” — a once-in-a-lifetime change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years
  • Due to the complex and interconnected nature of our society and economy, the majority of businesses and nonprofits are “effectively out of business” as of today, in that the underlying assumptions that sustained their organization are no longer true.
  • The priority of leaders must be to set aside confidence in their current playbook as quickly as possible, write a new one that honors their mission and the communities they serve, and make the most of their organization’s assets — their people, financial capital, and social capital, leaning on relationship and trust.
  • The creative potential for hope and vision is unparalleled right now — but paradoxically this creativity will only be fully available to us if we also make space for grief and lament.
  • We write this out of love for Christian organizational leaders and their work, with humility in a time of considerable uncertainty, and a prayerful hope that we are proven wrong by God, his gracious providence, working miraculously through human ingenuity in this season.

Let's do some short term planning.

Start with Vision, Values and Texts:

As we seek to work out how we will live in both blizzards and winter the place we start is with the vision God has given our congregation and the scripture that shapes our congregation.

Get out a piece of paper and write out the church’s vision, values, and the texts that speak powerfully to your congregation.

Once we have thoughtfully accomplished that...

Let's Raise Some Questions:

What are important questions our congregation needs to ask during this time? Below are some questions that can prime our thinking and our listening to the Spirit.

  1. What are we hearing from God in terms of the central texts that guide our congregation?
  2. What has our congregation and community experienced in the last
    1. 30 days?
    2. 60 days?
    3. 90 days?
  3. What’s our best guess of what the next 30, 60, 90 days will look like?
  4. What are we hearing from listening to the members of our congregation —what do they need, how can they serve, what mission is most tugging at their heart right now etc?
  5. What are we hearing from our city, county, culture about the important issues that need to be faced?
  6. What are we hearing about the spiritual and emotional needs of our community and our congregation?
  7. Leadership: What renewal does our leadership need in order to be a non-anxious presence?
  8. How does adaptive change fit into this moment?
  9. How do our vision and values inform what we will do in the five foci listed below in the next 30, 60, 90 days?

5 Focus Areas:

All churches, whatever their vision and values, focus on some major areas of following God. Below are five central areas that churches can focus on during Covid to keep the main thing the main thing. Focusing on these things allows us to let go of some other areas during this time of pandemic, while staying true to God’s calling on us as a church*.

  1. Cultivate practices of prayer and spiritual discipline, transforming our lives and communities by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Listen to the voices of every generation, shaping us for ministry together.
  3. Grow in diversity and unity by seeking justice, reconciliation, and welcome, sharing our faith as we build relationships with and honor the cultures of our neighbors and newcomers.
  4. Discover how to connect with our local and global ministry contexts, equipping us to share/live the gospel
  5. Worship God so he is glorified and his people are edified

*4 of the Focus Areas are incorporated from the CRCNA’s Our Journey 2025

Looking at the 5 places to put attention what is our goal in each of the following areas for the next 30 days, 60 days, 90 days (or periods of time that work for your congregation)?
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We live in a time when things can change quickly. Every 30 days we pause and ask whether we move forward with our present goals and move into the next stage or if we need to reset because of changes in our congregation, community, state, nation and world.

If we have to reset we reimagine what we need to do because of the changes happening. Do we, for instance, have to go back to online worship, do we need to listen more carefully to the voice of the vulnerable in our community, do we need to find a different way of cultivating practices because the present way isn’t helping people grow in Christ? We pause and ask these questions and then seek a way forward that brings glory to God, blesses our community and makes better disciples.