Strategize Your Campus
Stewardship has two components we must embrace.
First, whatever resources we have (staff, student leaders, funding, etc.), they are not our own. Therefore, they are not there to benefit us as the leader. They have been entrusted to us to steward well, towards the purposes of the Master.
Second, whatever resources we have are limited. Therefore, we have been tasked by God to invest and manage those resources in such a way that they provide the maximum return (Matthew 25:14-30). We do so because the cause is great and the Master is incredibly generous.
–From How Effective Do You Really Want to Be? by Gary Runn
Runn’s article describes well the reasons strategic planning is a vital process for stewarding well the resources God has given you to reach your campus for Christ. I would suggest reading and gleaning the wisdom from it before starting the planning process.
After your team has read the article, grab this worksheet and this blank template and start developing your own plan!
You could also lead additional strategic planning meetings with any ministry teams you have that are led by students (i.e. prayer team, outreach team). When students start dreaming for God, students start taking personal responsibility for that vision. When they own the vision and the ministry you will see your ministry on campus takeoff.
Questions for Strategic Planning
Mission, Vision, Values
Here are some questions you can use to help you and your team think through who you are and where you want to go:
Why do you exist?
What is the purpose of your ministry?
What would you like to see God do in five years?
Describe what it would look like and compress it into a vivid, succinct, compelling sentence.
What are the values that define your unique contribution to the mission or the Church?
What are the values that guide and direct your decisions? (What you say “yes” and “no” to.)
Other Future Direction Questions
- What are you troubled by when you look at the campus and consider the current existence of students? What’s broken? Who is in pain?
- What has God called you to do about what you see and what you are learning?
- With unlimited resources, time, and people, what could you envision your campus looking like in the future?
- With unlimited resources, time, and people, what could you envision your group/ministry looking like this year?
- What kind of student will it take to move your ministry from where you are today to where you believe God is taking you?
- What are the demographics of your campus like? Where are students? Who are the influencers?
- What are students today like? What do they think and value? Where do they spend their time?
- What is your history on your campus? What is the ministry’s current situation/status?
- SWOT (this can also be used in the Evaluation Step)
- Strengths: What are you doing well that needs to remain strong?
- Weaknesses: What are areas you must change or improve?
- Opportunities: If you seized them, what future opportunities would make a big difference in moving you toward your vision?
- Threats: What obstacles or dangers do you need to guard against?
- The Big 3: lack of finances, inadequate team, and no outreach to non-Christians
- What are the needed and available resources to move your vision forward?
- How many of your students are actually in relationship with non-Christians?
- How many students, student leaders, and other volunteers do you have in your ministry right now?
- What tools to do you currently have to aid in the task of reaching the campus?
- Do you have enough finances for your vision (personal and ministry)? If not, where will you get help?
- What is your social and online presence? Can students easily find you and get the info they need? Can you communicate and manage a large amount of students?
- Are you registered? Do you have officers? Do you have all the rooms reserved that will be needed for your events?
- Is there a Leadership Meeting time, place, day and frequency?
- Do you have a follow up plan for new contacts?
- Do you have a Leadership Covenant and/or the qualifications of a leader (walk, ministry skills, knowledge, vision, character, etc.)?
- What are the issues that surfaced when you did the Current Reality Assessment? As a group, pick the top 3-4 issues from your assessment that are the most important to address next. Your Critical Path Steps become the God-sized goals that address these issues.
- What are 3-4 major goals you are trusting God for this year? You may also list sub-goals or tactics that will help you get there. Make sure you put a time frame on each goal/sub-goal and who will help.
- What are things you must do consistently this year/semester in order to move closer to your vision?
- Suggestions: evangelism, making disciples, and global missions in the context of a praying, worshiping, and learning community
You might ask these of students, leaders, and staff at a retreat after each semester (especially in the area of evangelism):
- Can everyone explain our vision/values? Are we living out our values? Moving toward our vision? Are you truly committed to them? If not, why not?
- What did you most enjoy about your involvement with our ministry? Least?
- How are we developing leaders? Followers of Christ?
- Can our students share Christ? Make new disciples? How can we help them do this better? Sooner?
- How are we developing relationships with the lost? Are we praying for them? Caring for them? On their turf or ours?
- How are we doing at reaching out to the lost, winning the lost, establishing the new believers, and having them reproduce right where they are?
- What fears are holding us back? Our students? How can we cultivate courage?
- If God were to remove His presence, how different would our ministry be? Is it really supernatural?
- Does our structure allow staff and students to seek out and minister to the lost or are they too busy managing and organizing programs?
- In our campus ministry I would like to see…
- In my own personal ministry I would like to see…
Repeat this cycle every semester or year. Here’s another great article on strategic planning from Cru with a pdf template.
Choose formats and questions to suit your ministry and team goals.
As you implement a planning time with your team, consider this valuable insight on pitfalls to avoid in the process as well.