Sometimes we have great ideas regarding what we want to happen for our ministry, but they never seem develop. An action plan is our “let’s make it happen” tool. A well-thought-through action plan will transform great ideas, translating them into reality. The following list of tips will help you create an action plan that is useful and empowering:
1. An action plan begins with one or more goals connected to your ministry’s mission and vision statements. Think of these goals as your big, grand ideas. For example, you might commit to developing deeper intergenerational relationships within your congregation.
2. To each goal, add several specific objectives. If your goal is to develop intergenerational relationships, then one specific objective might be to host an intergenerational event in the fall of 2014 that draws 100 participants—a mix of adults, youth, and children.
Note: Set stretch goals, but be realistic. If yours is a small congregation, an intergenerational group of 20 may be more reasonable than 50.
3. Now, you are ready to develop the specificsteps it will take to accomplish your objective. For the intergenerational event, you will need to break your plan down into several areas like logistics (date, location, and theme development), activities, refreshments, decorations, advertising/inviting, and volunteers.
4. For each area, you will want to clarify :
- How will the task be accomplished?
- Who will be responsible?
- When will the action be completed?
- How will success of the task be measured?
5. As you assign responsibilities and deadlines, be sure those working with the action plan have a clear understanding of their task and the criteria for success. It’s usually best if you put this in writing and then work through it face-to-face with the leader(s) you are equipping.
6. Don’t forget to include a celebration or recognition at various milestones along the way and, especially, at the “mission accomplished” mark! This will keep you and those who work with you—staff and volunteers—energized for your next big endeavor.
7. Finally, remember that action plans are fluid documents. We make plans, but plans frequently change when new ideas develop or roadblocks appear. Use your action plan as a guide, adapting as you go along.
With a detailed, well-managed action plan, everyone on the team has a document from which to work. As each task is accomplished, everyone can say, “We made it happen!”
Blessings to you as you work to develop a “Let’s Make It Happen” action plan!
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