Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The 1-3 Year Plan

So a quick recap from the last post, if you’ve been following along. Last time I discussed the value of having a 5-year plan. This is your “end zone.” It is how you define success in your Student Ministry. Often we have an idea, but putting it on paper is valuable, because studies show that goals that are written down have a higher likelihood of being achieved. Now let’s take a look at the next step.

Phase 2: The 1-3 Year Plan

This phase is pretty simple. You’ll take a look at your 5-year plan and ask yourself, “What am I fairly confident I can achieve this year?” The reason it becomes a 1-3 year plan as opposed to just a 1-year plan is that this gives us some room for “life” to happen. Often we plan things in a vacuum, and it is difficult to take into account all the possible scenarios that could result in a setback to our plans. Give yourself some wiggle room by not trying to be overly-aggressive. Certainly there is something to be said for bold planning, but we also don’t want to burn ourselves and our students out by being unrealistic about what we can achieve.

In my last post, I outlined the components of our 5-year plan. Here it is again for the sake of review:

1. Grow the Youth Group (Evangelism)
2. The Student Ministry becomes self-reliant for outreach/promotion (Evangelism)
3. Youth events almost entirely student-led (Christian Service)
4. Affinitized Student Ministries, i.e. Prayer, Drama, Outreach, etc. (Christian Service)
5. Begin buildout of permanent Student space (Fellowship/Discipleship)

In developing the 1-3 year plan, I want to look at things I can do this year that will be the “first steps” that move us toward these ultimate goals. After some brainstorming, we came up with some ideas.  As an example, we’ll take the first item in our 5-year plan: Grow the Youth Group. Our 1-3 year, plan, then, included the following:

  • Continue an evangelistic format for Youth Service (we began it in mid-2011 before our current 5-year plan began)
  • Increase the visitor count
  • Start a campus ministry

These are all things that our team could feasibly achieve in the next 1-3 years, especially given that the first item is largely a “maintenance” item.

You’ll notice that two this point everything on here is strategic, and not tactical; in other words, we’ve talked a lot about WHAT we want to do, but not HOW we want to do it. How do we convert the strategic into solid tactic? You’ll have to tune in next time to find out!

3 thoughts on “Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The 1-3 Year Plan

  1. Pingback: Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The Annual Planning Session | Mashed Potatoes

  2. Pingback: Planning for Success in Student Ministry – The Monthly Calendar Meeting | Mashed Potatoes

  3. Pingback: Planning for Success in Student Ministry: The Stand-Up Meeting | Mashed Potatoes

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