Ptr. Jonathan Ferriol in his blog wrote:
The first month of 2013 is fast closing, and I thought that I should share to you this one crucial piece of advice I have grown accustomed to – “plan your work, work your plan!” It was my uncle Art (who is now a bishop in the church) who gave me this piece of advice. He wrote it on the organizer, which he gave me as a present. I immediately fell in love with how simple yet profound is the wisdom of this advice. Today it is one of the few but important work guidelines I follow as a pastor and administrator.
It’s noteworthy that God himself is a planner. And his plans are perfect, beautiful and unimpeachable. In the book of Jeremiah, God said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. It’s comforting to know that nothing happens in our lives as His children as a result of random chance, or by mere coincidence. God has a plan for everything. I love it when His words assure me that God has plans for me and that His plans are all meant for my good. I don’t know about you, but this is more than good enough for me.
Yet more than that, God is also a worker. He doesn’t merely plan but He executes His plans in matchless precision and timing (unlike many of us, including myself!). Apostle Paul wrote, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” – Ephesians 1:11. I love this thought – “God working out everything…” It simply means that whatever awesome plans He has in store for me, He himself will bring them to reality for me! Again, this is something I can’t help but be excited about!
Too many believers today are either failing to plan or they fail to execute their plans (but I know also some who don’t even plan and work, which I think is a lot worse!). Hence, these believers end up more as liabilities rather than assets, a bane rather than a boon for God’s work!
Like what I said, I believe in this sage counsel. This is why I hold a Church Growth Summit or CGS each year. It is an annual, 5-day long meeting at the beginning of each year with my district co-workers in order to plan and plot the growth of our church in the United States. It is one of those events in the district that my colleagues and I never fail to attend. We all love going to CGS!
But we don’t stop there. We, then, immediately go back to our respective churches to mobilize and rally the brethren towards the fulfillment of our plans. Much of the successes our church has achieved over the course of the last decade can be attributed to our belief in this particular ministry ethic. And as each and every colleague of mine could attest, this principle evidently works!
But understanding the reason why we plan is just a start. We need to also understand what we are planning for. And it is in this area, that all of us, I believe, should have more commonality, if not, unanimity.
As God’s children, we should always plan to accommodate more and more God’s work into our lives and to utilize more our resources, talents and time advancing the work of God. We sometimes wonder why we can’t seem to bring ourselves in the mainstream of God’s work and it is because we are not planning to be there, in the first place. Hence, this principle that calls for planning first and then working out the plan.
I would like then to propose 5 practical steps in order to successfully execute a godly plan.
1. Plan within the framework of God’s plan – James 4:13-14.
2. Enlist godly counselors to “fine tune” your plans – Proverbs 15:22.
3. Plan prayerfully – Proverbs 19:21.
4. Execute your plans discerningly – 1 Samuel 2:9, Zechariah 4:6.
5. Work towards the goal of glorifying God – Colossians 3:17,23.
May God guide you as you plan and work towards the advancement of His kingdom this year and beyond!