Review of Advanced Strategic Planning
By Aubrey Malphurs
This third edition updates the monumental work of Aubrey, having first published in 1999. The use of the word strategic is needed because planning does not always lead to progress. The usual definition of strategy implies some type of trickery or surprise. But in this context, strategy refers to developing a process that produces well-defined biblical goals by wisely and efficiently using the resources that God has made available to us.
Aubrey emphasizes the need for preparation and I hardily agree. With the current state of decline of the church in the US, correctly assessing both the problems and the personnel are key to producing a forward-moving plan. Most churches are simply not ready to change in order to re-invigorate the Great Commission into its programs. I have seen so many that thought they wanted to grow, but no one understood the deep commitment necessary to make it happen.
This book underscores the need for adequate leadership, both from the pastoral staff as well as the laity. The only motivation that ultimately succeeds is one driven from passion (the heart.) We end up doing the things we like to do, so if God doesn’t rule the heart, we do our own things that please us, rather than what the Kingdom needs.
Aubrey provides great detail in the process of building teams, as well as making mature disciples. In the Exponential Conference Orlando 2013, speaker after speaker emphasized the focus to which God had driven them. That focus was “making disciples who make disciples.” If the process does not lead to a deeper relationship with God, and closer ties with those with whom we work, it is faulty. I believe this guide will help the readers to grasp a great understanding of the elements needed to succeed. I give this endorsement with a deep prayer that God will illuminate your mind and overwhelm your heart with His knowledge and passion.