To articulate a clear plan I suggest you address these questions, in this order.
- Why? This describes your VALUES.
Why do you care? Identify your values (operational and/or aspirational), motivations, desires and drivers. This is the best description of your identity as an organisation. Over time, your values shape your reputation with outsiders.
- What then? This describes your VISION.
What do you hope the future will be like? Of all the available possibilities – you may need to do some work to enumerate these – which one grips you? Your vision is an imaginative scenario in which your values are given full expression. For practical purposes it is best to focus on the medium term rather than the distant future.
- What now? This describes your MISSION.
What is the contribution you will make to that vision? In a nutshell, what is the big thing you are going to do? A realistic mission statement takes into account that inspiring visions are not achieved alone. Others will take their part. What is your part?
- How? This describes your STRATEGY.
How will you carry out your mission? How will you break down your overarching mission into its constituent parts? How will you set your priorities so that the main thing is not lost? How do your strategies relate to your vision and values?
- When, who and where? This describes your OPERATIONS.
When will you carry out your strategies? Who will be responsible for them? Where will that happen? When will you evaluate your efforts? Who will you need on the team? Where will the resources come from? These are questions of implementation and must come after the first four questions are answered satisfactorily.
What else have you found is helpful in expressing an empowering ministry plan?