Planning in ministry can mean a lot of different things. You may be planning an event, your calendar of events for the year, how to move forward in a new direction, and the list goes on. I am a planner so this part of ministry is a natural and necessary thing. It is hard to see how anyone can do ministry without serious planning, but serious planning doesn’t mean boring.
My Favorite Place To Begin When Planning In Ministry
Have a dream session! Dream Sessions are a very effective place to begin. It will spice up planning in ministry like nothing else. Yes, I am a planner, but I also love to dream! My own dreams seem to fall short when planning in ministry. That’s why I love to bring in my core team and dream with them. I think the old saying, “Two heads are better than one,” is so true. And it is very true for the church.
God created the church to work together, to dream together, and to build together. We can’t do ministry alone and fulfill all that God has called us to fulfill. Besides, planning in ministry is limited until you dream with others. Dream sessions move businesses, corporations, and ministries to the next level of achievement. If you want to elevate your ministry potential and impact, incorporate other like-minded and impassioned people into your dream session.
Being the best planner in ministry means taking limits off the dream session. The only rule I have in a dream session is that, at no time, does anyone say the words, “no,” “but,” or “can’t.” A dream session isn’t the place for those words.
You may have to muzzle a few people, but do whatever it takes to keep dreaming the main purpose of the session. If you know you have someone in your core team that has a propensity to over analyze, give her another task during the dream session, or send her on an errand while you dream! She will get the chance to help analyze and eliminate things that don’t fit your ministry, vision, mission, or resources in the next stage.
Here is how a dream session looks:
# 1 – Pre-determine what you want to accomplish in your dream session.
Have a list of dreaming points ready. A few years ago our ministry team planned for a television opportunity. We developed a local Christian women’s talk show. Our first step was a dream session.
I went into our dream session with this question: What will it take to develop a successful TV show for Christian women? In our dream session for our Christian women’s television show we dreamed, about women’s issues, show topics, the television set, jobs to fulfill, and much more.
For us, This was about finding ways to reach out and minister to women through television. You will have to determine the who’s, why’s, what’s, and how’s, for your ministry. Also, it would be beneficial to go back and read my blog post, You Need A Vision to Move Forward in Ministry and use the list of 10 questions as a possible guide in your dream session.
# 2 – Start your dream session with encouragement.
In the movie, “Pretty Woman” (almost 3 decades ago) there was a man who walked the streets of Los Angeles saying, “Everybody’s got a dream. What’s your dream?” Ask your team, if you could accomplish anything in the world, what would it be? Tell them you want them to bring that kind of dreaming to the table.
Remember that there are no limitations set for dreaming, except never say, “no,” “but,” or “can’t”. Remember that your all-powerful, limitless God is with you and for you!
But Jesus looked at them and said to them,
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
# 3 – Dream Big!
Set up different places for dreaming about different things. In our dream session for the television show, we had 3 tables covered with butcher paper, each titled with a different topic for dreaming, and markers in the middle. We divided into groups and went to a table. Timers were set for 10 minutes and everyone wrote down every idea until the timer went off. Then the groups shifted and repeated the same thing at another table.
Sometimes you will have other topics arise out of the dream session that you want to dream about. If so, just repeat the cycle using those new topics.
# 4 – Organize your dream notes and schedule your next session.
I like to organize when the dream session is over and everyone is gone. I don’t delete anything, but take note of every detail while keeping it under the specific heading in which it was originally listed. Then you are ready for the next session where you narrow the focus. I will write about narrowing the focus in my next blog post.
If you have questions about this stage of getting started in ministry or having a dream session, please leave a comment below.