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Why Your Strategy Matters More Than Your Mission

In ministry planning, we make a greater impact when we're less random and more strategic. Read to learn why your strategy matters more than your mission.
Strategy Matters

What is your strategy?

Not, what is your mission?

Most of us know our mission. We spent time crafting the language very carefully and it is probably on a wall somewhere. But, what is your strategy? What is your plan of action to accomplish your mission? If I asked you to give me your elevator pitch, what would you say? 

We like to say that it’s your strategy, not your mission, that ultimately determines your success.

In other words, some of us think that because we have defined our mission, we are successful. What we never stopped to realize is, that never ultimately leads us to the win. What leads us to the win is the plan of action to accomplish the mission. We know this because there are so many organizations with great mission statements that don’t feel like they are winning. 

Another way to apply this same principle is to talk about your teaching. 

If I were to ask you the question, “What are you teaching this week?” that would seem very specific. What I would really want to ask you is, “What are the big ideas you are teaching this year, and how does what you’re teaching this week impact that?”

If we were sitting at a table and having a discussion about your mission or strategy, I would probably ask you this, 

“Do you tend to be more random or more strategic in your ministry?”

Random vs. Strategic

When people ask me what I would go back and redo during my early years of ministry, I would go back and be less random and be more strategic. 

I love random . . .
Random conversations
And random fun
Or random topics

But as a young youth pastor, we would finish an event, and I would say, “That was fun. What are we going to do next?” So to decide, I would go to the bookstore and look at the topics Christian leaders were talking about and decide which one I want to talk about with my kids or students. 

The problem is, that’s like taking orange parking cones and dropping them randomly around the parking lot and then wondering why there is confusion. 

In reality, if we spent some time arranging the cones, arranging the programs, and arranging what we teach, it would give people direction. 

That’s what we are called to do, right? 

As leaders, we are supposed to lead kids and teenagers somewhere. So, basically what we are trying to convince you of is that your strategy matters more than you think it does. 

If you are going to talk about the future of the church, you have to talk about strategy because churches today are losing momentum. Not because they are not teaching the gospel or truth, don’t have amazing leaders, or don’t have an incredible mission. It’s because they haven’t spent time talking about their strategy. 


A good strategy will…

Give your team forward momentum
Help you recruit better leaders
Give your message a lasting impact
Engage parents to become more intentional at home
Move people deeper into positive relationships
Help kids and teenagers develop an everyday faith


The final reason strategy matters is because evil has a strategy.

Jesus said this, right? He said that the thief will come to kill, steal, and destroy, and there is an enemy that we cannot see. 

Evil has a strategy to
KILL sense of Identity
STEAL sense of Belonging
DESTROY sense of Purpose

But Jesus also said, “I have come that you might have life and live it more fully.”

That’s why we do this, right? 

If evil has a strategy, then let’s have a strategy that gives life.

Let’s have a strategy that helps kids answer the questions,
Who am I?
Where do I belong?
Why am I here? 

That’s what an everyday faith has the potential to do, and we can give them that when we have a good strategy and action plan with that end in mind. 

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