Since this spring, when I found out that my wife’s job was going to keep us in the area for another 4 years, I’ve been thinking about what I want the next 4 years of ministry to look like. A little while back I put together a tentative scope and sequence chart that outlines the major topics we’ll cover in our various aspects of ministry. I think it’s a pretty swell plan.
One of my goals is to read at least something from every book in the Bible during high school Sunday school over the next four years. I found myself torn because that meant a lot of good material had to be left out. And then I thought about the kids who were juniors and seniors and who wouldn’t get to experience the “full effect” of this comprehensive plan. I really wanted everyone to be able to experience the whole four years.
And then I realized that in order for anyone to be able to be a part of a plan like this, they have to be here at the beginning and see it through to the end. If they are not freshman, then they miss out. It seemed to me that planning this out made me take an anti-missional stance. The whole idea is predicated on people being here their freshman year. I was working under the assumption that if our group grows and people get involved as sophomores, juniors, or seniors that they won’t get the full benefit of the program. And I didn’t much like thinking that way.
I’m going to probably stick to the rough plan that’s been laid out simply to provide some balance and to make sure that we don’t cover the same things over and over. But what is important is to realize that it’s not the planning or the programs that make our break someone’s faith development. If someone connects with our church and ministry in their senior year, we have to continue to put the impetus of growth and maturity on sustainable relationships that will last beyond and outside of these programs. These structures only serve as a container within which to house and develop some of these relationships.
Or, at least, that’s where I’m at on this whole deal right now.
Does anyone else do comprehensive long-range planning and have the same struggles?