Item description for Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs...
Overview First published in 1999, Advanced Strategic Planning explained why planning was so important to carrying out the church's mission. Now in its second edition, this practical resource offers - a nine-step strategic thinking and acting model - useful ideas for developing a strategy - diagrams to help illustrate concepts - a new chapter on spiritual formation This updated edition places a stronger emphasis on disciplemaking and clarifies answers to nine fundamental ministry questions. The methods in this book are proven to work, having already helped many churches articulate their vision and implement their mission.
Publishers Description First published in 1999, "Advanced Strategic Planning" explained why planning was so important to carrying out the church's mission. Now in its second edition, this practical resource offers - a nine-step strategic thinking and acting model - useful ideas for developing a strategy - diagrams to help illustrate concepts - a new chapter on spiritual formation This updated edition places a stronger emphasis on disciplemaking and clarifies answers to nine fundamental ministry questions. The methods in this book are proven to work, having already helped many churches articulate their vision and implement their mission.
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Studio: Baker Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.03" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.98" Weight: 1.11 lbs.
Release Date Aug 1, 2005
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 0801091810 ISBN13 9780801091810
Availability 0 units.
More About Aubrey Malphurs
Aubrey Malphurs (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of pastoral ministries and leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary and president of the Malphurs Group. He engages in church consulting and training and is the author of more than twenty ministry resource books.
Aubrey Malphurs currently resides in Dallas, in the state of Texas.
Reviews - What do customers think about Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders?
Practical Church Leadership Resource Feb 1, 2007
Aubrey Malphurs, author of many books on parish leadership and strategy, is a professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary and is also the president of the Malphurs Group (a training and consulting firm for churches). "Advanced Strategic Planning" is a book that seeks to assist a congregation to move from a stage of stagnation and plateaued growth to a period of change and revitalization.
Malphurs's introduction lays out his belief that all institutions essentially operate on a bell curve (aka "sigmoid curve" or "s-curve"), that an institution begins and experiences rapid growth in virtually all dimensions, then begins establishing routines, the routines entrench themselves and become a source of comfot to those in the organization, then the institution declines and dies. Malphurs argues that institutions (and especially the church) should, as soon as they recognize plateau, should re-invent or re-structure themselves to experience a new period of significant growth. This necessitates the re-invention and re-structuring of countless aspects of church life and organization. "Advanced Strategic Planning" takes a church through the change process in a step-by-step manner.
Throughout the book, Malphurs draws upon his wealth of experience as a pastor, interim pastor, professor, and consultant to take a church through the strategic revitalization process. He addresses many pitfalls and stagnation traps, reasserts the importance of following through on the process, and pastorally encourages the church leaders to carry on. He stresses the distinctions between values, missions, and functions in a helpful way. Most valuable for this reader, he spends much time defining and showing the importance of communicating a vision.
The unhelpful aspects of this book are few, but include the following: Malphurs gravitates toward writing for the larger, wealthier parish and tends. The result is that smaller, financially strapped congregations may not get as much out of this book. Also, my parish operates a day-school and I had trouble applying some of Malphur's advice to my particular situation. However, these criticism are (admittedly) minor and should not detract you from reading this book.
I recommend this book for pastors, parish leaders, and others in a position to move their religious-based organization form stagnation to revitalization.
Excellent content best for new churches Nov 4, 2006
Malphurs does an excellent job of laying out the strategic planning process step by step and in great detail. I really appreciated the fact that he takes into account things like church patriarchs/matriarchs and other church dynamics that are often not addressed practically in ministry books. He almost makes the process seem easy, and maybe it is, IF you are starting a new church or are in the very early stages of a church plant. However, much of the material seems practically impossible to implement in a "plateau'ed" or "downward spiraling" church that has been around for 100 years. The principles are easy and make sense IF you have 100% support of the congregation. That's pretty hard to do in most of the churches I've been in that need strategic planning the most. That's no fault of Malphurs; the book itself is a great book.
Advanced Strategic Planning Oct 29, 2006
Malphurs provides the experienced and emerging leader an excellent resource. He combines the right mix of biblical advice & perspective, academic theory, and practical tools on which the Ministry leader may step up to the next level.
A good book to read in understanding the "hows" of change Jan 16, 2006
The title of the book suggests a multifaceted tactical plan that promises an innovative approach to church structure. It focuses on the aspects of a church's mission by examining issues such as preparedness, the life cycle of the church, core values, the church's purpose for existence, the surrounding community, direction, plan, church crisis and stalemates, and evaluating effectiveness. The author injects thought provoking questions throughout the book in an effort to guide readers through the process of launching the church in a certain direction. It emphasizes that the process is a collaborative effort between the pastor and the congregation. The interesting feature of the book is the contingencies chapter-"how will the church handle pleasant and not so pleasant surprises?" (187). Churches encounter various situations so it is best to have a plan in place. For instance, if the senior or only pastor resigns, the church must have a way to continue with services. They should have someone to step in temporarily while they search for another pastor. The worse thing that can happen is for the church to be in disarray. An example of a "good contingency" is receiving a large sum of money. The church should have a plan in place for what will be done in case they receive an unexpected donation. Strategic planning is to plan for the future. Another interesting information from the book is the analysis of the environment. To illustrate, the social environment includes the mobility of the population (does the majority have automobiles or do they travel via public transportation?) (119). The "Readiness for Change" inventory contains the factors necessary for organizational change, but prayer is missing (214). Before any change takes place, much prayer should be devoted by church members.
A challenge to church leaders to do critical thinking Apr 23, 2005
Malphurs asserted that the typical church in North America is aimlessly adrift (9). Such aimlessness is the result of churches and their leaders failing to do the hard work of thinking through their mission and developing the strategies necessary to accomplish that mission. Three reasons primarily account for the lack of strategic planning: lack of understanding of the need, unfamiliarity with the process, and the deemphasizing of strategic planning within the business community. Historically, strategic planning in the business world adhered to a static model; that is, planning assumed business forces would not change significantly enough to alter the strategic plan. The reality was different from the assumptions and company plans ended up lying on a shelf unused. Malphurs desired to provide church leaders with a concise and workable model for strategic planning. His model comprised a seven-step process that takes into account the many forces influencing the ecclesiastical world. Malphurs accomplished his objective in a well-organized book free from the techno babble often found in similar works. Critical Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses The book's title is somewhat overstated. Advanced Strategic Planning is really the basics of strategic planning. Malphurs's principles are very elementary. An advanced book would assume some level of prior understanding of the process. Instead, Malphurs gave his readers a detailed primer on the subject. That said, Malphurs did an excellent job of succinctly outlining the planning process. He began with a discussion of the church and leadership's readiness to commit to the strategic planning process followed by ways to stimulate creative and strategic thinking. Additionally, as a prelude to the planning process, Malphurs detailed the dynamics of organizational development and change. Several issues of concern come to mind regarding the preparatory process. One, Malphurs identified five attitudes among pastoral leaders that characterize resistance toward change (19). However, he failed to note that some pastors are not wired for strategic thinking. Some by nature are implementers and some are dreamers. Most pastors understand their calling only in terms of ministry activities like preaching, teaching, evangelizing, hospital visitation, etc. These are the things that excite many pastors, not strategic planning. Second, Malphurs alluded to the time necessary to lead the church to determine its mission, discover its values, capture a vision, and develop a comprehensive strategy. He noted that it could take as long as five years just to get a church's lay leadership on board with the pastor's strategic thinking mindset. Unfortunately, most pastors do not stay longer than three or four years. For example, this reviewer is the forty-fifth pastor in his church's 155-year history--an average pastorate of 3.4 years. Conventional wisdom suggests that the church does not fully accept the pastor's leadership until the fifth year. Additionally, a pastor's peak effectiveness does not begin until year seven. A pastor in his or her fifties simply will not have the longevity to see the process to fruition. Perhaps the book's greatest strength is that it challenges church leaders to think critically about its mission, its congregational makeup, its visions, and its values. The instruments in the appendix are valuable, but they presume a well-educated congregation. An inner city church comprised mostly of high school dropouts living on subsistence wages is less equipped to undertake such a rigorously intellectual analysis. For those churches with congregants able and willing to embark on the journey of self-discovery, Malphurs provided some excellent tools. This reviewer did take exception to Malphurs's disparagement of bivocational pastors. He wrote: "I question if part-time is better than no-time. It may depend on the circumstances. My pastoral experience has taught me that pastoral ministry is a full-time venture. Part-time ministry most often results in a maintenance ministry at best. Rarely do part-time pastors lead growing ministries" (164). With all due respect, this reviewer's pastoral experience has taught him otherwise. Malphurs should not treat bivocational ministers as the redheaded stepchildren of Christian ministry nor should he suggest that their churches have less potential than one with a fully supported pastor. Does he suggest closing bivocational churches since "no-time" is better than "part-time"? Over one-third of Southern Baptist pastors are bivocational. This reader wished Malphurs had dealt more graciously with bivocational ministries and provided guidelines for greater success and faithfulness within the scope of their limitations. Finally, Malphurs's chapter on evaluation focused primarily on the quality of ministries and capabilities of staff. He should have more forcefully prompted his readers to evaluate how the church itself has changed since the planning process began. If the whole process takes five or more years to accomplish, the demographics of the church could have significantly changed. Key influencer could have moved, retired, or died. New members bring their own new distinctiveness to the church. The needs and expectations of the church change as it reaches certain membership milestones. A church with one hundred worshippers that grows 10 percent per year will have over 160 worshippers in five years. New members bring a new dynamic that leaders must continually evaluate. Subsequently, the church's values may change to reflect that of incoming members. Malphurs refers to values as constant (81), but that assumes that those coming into a church already share those values or will buy into them--a false assumption. For example, a rural church in the 1960's may have valued homogeneity, but forty years of cultural change accompanied by exurbanization can cause a church to value diversity. Evaluation of Author's Success Malphurs achieved his objective. He skillfully outlined a systematic process to help churches and their leader develop an intentional strategy for accomplishing their mission. The flow of his argument is logical, his illustrations helpful, and the appendices useful. He forcefully made his case for a more thoughtful reflection on the mission, vision, goals, and strategies of the church. He admirably urges leaders to lead with vision and intentionality.