Making a plan and deciding how you are going to progress in your spiritual life and relationship with Jesus Christ may at first appear a bit unusual. However, making plans and setting goals is a natural part of how we go about our daily lives. The same is true in the Church. Our God created the world and the universe according to an incredible plan. One of the prayers of the Church calls our Creator the Great Architect of our Souls. Meaning not only did God create the universe according to a plan but human beings as well.
When we go off of a set of plans, or according to a predetermined course, that doesn’t mean we live in a rigid manner. At the same time, without a sense of our end goal we can find ourselves meandering from one thing to another without making real progress. A spiritual plan is based in the firm conviction that God is our Creator and that He has plans for us. He says as much through the Prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29.11.
Our lives are full of all sorts of goals and hopes for the future and without a plan we may never reach them. The same is true for us spiritually. What are our goals and hopes spiritually? If we know them do we have a plan to accomplish them? Obviously the Church provides innumerable resources to help us reach our ultimate goal of an abiding and eternal relationship with Jesus Christ in His Kingdom. The fact that we don’t plan for this goal is troublesome to the Lord and Jesus Christ and He says as much in a parable about a dishonest Steward that opens chapter 16 of Luke’s Gospel. Read it and consider carefully the Lord’s admonition, “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light,” Luke 16.8.
Similarly, our parish leadership has been working hard on a Strategic Plan for our community’s future. We have looked carefully at our parish and asked difficult questions like who are we, what do we want to accomplish for the Lord and how are we going to make it happen. We’ve worked diligently to craft a Vision Statement that we feel rightly describes who we are but also inspires us. We have also drafted a set of Mission Statements that tell our community and those we encounter how we are going to accomplish our lofty Vision. Paired with that we have painstakingly identified our strengths, our weaknesses, the threats we face as a community, and our opportunities. From these points of reflection we defined our structure, the roles and responsibilities of staff, ministry leaders, and laity, while also looking at every aspect of parish life from administration to service. Included in this process has been the establishment of Long Range Strategic Goals and intermediate steps called SMART (specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and time oriented) goals to help us over the next five years to continue the development of our community and our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I invite you to take a look at our Strategic Plan when it is unveiled later this month and to study it carefully. Likewise, I encourage you to make a plan for yourself and the ministries you participate in that aligns with our Vision and Mission.
With continued prayers for each of you unto salvation, and in love, I remain,