I am a “planner.” I always have been. Making lists, organizing thoughts and actions, and working out logistics has always come naturally to me. It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s a good thing I do, because working for the SBCV requires a lot of planning!
The SBCV women’s ministry plans at least one year in advance for our regular events, and more than that for special events. By the time the new year rolls around, we’re already using the next year’s planner.
As Christians, we need to be very careful not to get “ahead of God” in our planning. My mom always used to say the old adage, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” We always want to make our plans with the reverence and deference to an omnipotent God who has already planned our steps and has planned for us in advance. (Ephesians 2:10)
Once you have prayerfully sought the Lord’s guidance and blessing on your plans, and you’ve been submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit, I believe you’ll see that planning ahead has real advantages.
Planning ahead allows you to be good stewards of your resources.
We all have budgets we need to work within. By carefully planning your expenses, you can avoid last-minute budget hits like paper products, door prizes, and even child care. These things add up and can really take a chunk out of your bottom line.
Try to re-use items, if possible. Make the centerpiece the door prize. Or budget low for decorations and then add that money in toward a nice prize. Consider investing in reusable tablecloths if possible. Remember that Jesus needs to be your focus, not the decor. It’s important, but not the main thing.
Planning ahead allows you to disciple well and comprehensively.
By calendaring for the year- or event the next 18-24 months, you can plan a biblical curriculum for the women you lead that will enrich them on a variety of spiritual levels. Lifeway has a catalog online that outlines all the Bible studies they offer and how long they are, whether they have video with them, etc. Click this link to see the grid.
If you prefer to teach Scripture directly from the Bible, planning ahead ensures that you’re covering both Old Testament and New Testament, and that you’re offering events that reach and grow women and draw them to engage in other areas of church life.
Planning ahead allows you to lead efficiently.
When I worked outside the home 40+ hours a week, was committed to cooking dinner at least 5 days a week, had two sons in school, led a ministry, taught Bible study, and commuted over 40 miles a day, I needed to have a plan. Every Saturday I planned every meal for the coming week. I knew by Saturday afternoon what I would be feeding my family for the next six days. It took a lot of work and dedication, but it paid off and it kept me sane.
Once you have your ministry year planned out, you will be able to exhale and enjoy seeing how God works in and through the women in your church and community. You will be ready to adapt and overcome when surprises occur, and those surprises will be less frequent.
For more information about how to plan ahead for your ministry, please visit my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you plan ahead for the ministry God has called you to, submit your work to Him and He will surely bless you. (Proverbs 16:3)