Asking the Right Question

We’re headed into the season when many church councils and vestries hold their annual planning retreat.  If you’re interested in leadership and consultative help contact me.  I’d love to meet you and talk about your hopes, goals and dreams for 2019.

A planning retreat can take many forms, and I will work with you to design what best suits your needs.  A common approach is looking at and evaluating your church’s past and present ministries , and then looking into the future to set new goals and strategies.

A tweak that I sometimes put on this is to look at your present ministries first, then look back a few years, and then forward into the future.  Why? I find that starting with the past can, simply, take too much time.  Rather we start with where your are right now, look then back for some context and perspective, and then forward to what do you want to be and do in 2019.

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers great resources, and their e-newsletter is one of my favorites.  If you don’t follow them I recommend you take a look. One of my favorite sections is “The Right Question”.  This section of the January 2 newsletter offers another approach with different questions that might frame a planning retreat.  Here they are:

The Right Question: Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions. 

A few years ago, the Lewis Center staff were all asked to respond to four questions as a way of determining the shape of the Center’s next chapter. Perhaps these questions can help in your situation.
1. Raise? What acts and activities could profitably be raised above their current level? 
2. Reduce? What acts and activities could be reduced from the current level of time and energy? 
3. Eliminate? What acts and activities could be eliminated? 

4. Add? What things could we do that we are not now doing that, if done well, would take us to new levels of mission effectiveness? 

The form of the retreat is important.  The fact that you this type of planning is even more important!

Contact me for more information.  New Year’s Blessings!

Carolyn M. Chilton

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