Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what the future can look like for Mount Pleasant Christian Church. In the local church, just like in so many other areas of life, there is always a need for strategic planning. At the present time, our church is experiencing God’s blessing in some very tangible ways. The completion of our Community Life Center/Student Ministry Center almost a little over a year and a half ago has been a great blessing. And I hope that you would agree with me that the discomfort of re-modeling and re-purposing almost all of our main campus was well worth it. This week our staff is moving into the new Administrative space and the only two items left on the agenda are converting the Y.A.C. to a Chapel and re-modeling the Music Suite.
But the blessings we are experiencing go well beyond buildings and construction. We are also welcoming a lot of new people to our services each week and, better still, we are seeing many new people become a part of God’s eternal family. And virtually every week someone takes the time to tell me about the great things that God is teaching them or that God is doing in their life or family. Does that mean everything’s perfect, no, but it does mean that things are moving in the right direction.
That brings me back to strategic planning. Every leader knows that success (blessing) today does not guarantee success (blessing) tomorrow. And every leader knows how important it is to look down the road and try to be prepared for what tomorrow brings remembering that ultimately God is in control. Proverbs 16:9 says, In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. (NIV) I believe those words…I’ve lived those words. So it’s important to plan for the future but to do it with an eternal perspective.
This is something I’ve been doing as a pastor for the past 30 years. But I’m going to be honest, and tell you that it’s not my favorite part of being a pastor…it’s not my favorite part of being a leader. I believe in strategic planning. What we’ve seen happening on our campus for the past three-and-a-half years has been a part of a strategic plan. I’m excited about what God has in store for Mount Pleasant. But let me tell you what I like the most. I like the challenge of making each and every weekend something special. I understand the importance of planning for three years, five years, ten years down the road. But I love planning for Saturday and Sunday.
This might sound a little benign to someone who gets captivated by a long-term vision, but I have always wanted the church I serve to be a place where people are moved and blessed and…happy. A few weeks ago we had a baby dedication ceremony. We do these on Saturday nights so we don’t have as many time constraints. On this particular Saturday, we had seventeen babies and it was exciting. In fact, you could feel the excitement in the building. A few minutes before the service started I was walking off the stage and saw a woman who is a pretty new member. She asked me, “What’s happening tonight?” I told her it was a baby dedication and I said, “You’re going to love it.” This was her reply. “I love everything this church does.” And that friends, made my day because that’s the way I want people to feel. That’s a strategic plan that’s been in my heart in every church I’ve ever served.”
We’ve got some big plans for the future. But even better than that, we’ve got some big plans for this weekend. I hope I see you there.