Texas Presbyterian Foundation

DO WHAT MATTERS, NOW! 5 Ways to Support Proactive Growth in a Reactive Environment

By The Rev. Dr. Rick Young, TPF’s President

Business management gurus and leadership experts expose the need to develop long-term strategic plans
to guide an organization forward and accomplish its mission.

Those words seem simplistic in these tumultuous times. We used to talk about a 10-year period as the best strategic time-frame. In the last decade, experts have revised this time-frame downward to two to four years. As fast as culture is continuing to change, the expectation is that churches and nonprofits will reflect these changes. For many leaders, this will present itself as insurmountable and test every ounce of their leadership talents and abilities.

Of course, some industry leaders long for a return to the old “normal.”  For at least then, we knew what to expect. But did we really?

If only we had a crystal ball, our actions could easily be quick and confident rather than slow and uncertain. However, all is not lost. Even now, it is possible to be proactive. Below are five suggestions to help you support the energetic growth of your mission, while maintaining flexibility during uncertain times:

  • Review and Adapt your Church’s or Organization’s Purpose: If you do not have a clear and concise purpose understood and supported by all levels of your church or organization, you will find yourselves pulling and pushing in opposite directions. Just because you had a purpose or mission at inception, does not mean it truly reflects who you are today.
  • Develop a Workable Plan: A plan to reach pie in the sky goals may sound enticing, but it can easily lead to frustration for those executing what has been laid out. Instead, the plan must be relatable, functional, and centered around clearly definable objectives that can be easily evaluated.
  • Focus on Flexibility: All strategic plans need built-in flexibility. It is critical that you can expand or retract plans and action items to meet the needs of the present or future constituencies. Flexibility does not invalidate your mission. Instead, it brings a more robust institution.
  • Create Space for Collective Decision-Making: There can be strength in numbers. Leaders ultimately make final decisions, but it is often helpful to turn to others in a collegial manner to learn from their experience and expertise. Leverage the insight that surrounds you!
  • Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open: A new opportunity is always around the corner. Your mission can be expanded and enriched in any number of ways. Often, opportunities present themselves when and where you least expect them. Listening closely to those who support you and those you serve is the best way to ensure you remain financially viable, but also impactful.

Do you have any other suggestions for supporting proactive success in this uncertain time? Please don’t hesitate to email me at rick.young@tpf.org with thoughts and suggestions. We would love to have a conversation with you!

Additionally, as part of TPF’s own efforts to meet the constantly changing needs of our partners, we are hosting an upcoming webinar “LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY OF LOVE: A Virtual Planning Workshop.” This event was created during the current pandemic as a new forum for our popular in-person legacy planning workshops. You can CLICK HERE now to register for this complimentary virtual event!