Create ministry road maps

By Jim LaDoux
Congregational Vision Teams are charged with creating two types of road maps. A planning road map provides a detailed plan for how the work of the vision team will unfold. This includes the stages of the planning process, the specific tasks the team needs to undertake, who is responsible for each task, and when these tasks will be completed. Listed below is a sample planning road minus the WHO and WHEN that would normally be included in a congregation's road map.

STEP 1 | FORM your team

Select Team Members
  • Confirm the outcomes (deliverables) and duration of the team (start/end dates).
  • Decide on the size of the team.
  • List the criteria to be used for selecting team members.
  • Make a list of possible candidates, rank them, and extend invitations.
  • Gather contact information.
  • Set a date for commissioning team members during worship.
Onboard Team Members
  • Set a date, time, and place (in person or online) for the first meeting.
  • Invite the coach (if you're using one) to interview team members.
  • Confirming buy-in among team members about the team charge.
  • Listing the "deliverables" the team will provide on behalf of the church.
  • Gathering and sharing contact information from all team members.
  • Determine where team information can be accessed or uploaded.
  • Assigning key roles to team members.
  • Deciding when, where, and how the the team will meet and for how long.
  • Discuss team member's willingness to listen and learn between meetings.
  • Discussing what team members need to thrive; deciding on a team covenant.
  • Deciding on the content to be addressed during team meetings.
  • Explain to team members the church's governing structure (committees, teams, etc.)
  • Share with team members the church's current goals, mission, vision, and values statements.
  • Provide team members with the most recent annual report to read within 30 days.
  • Ask team teams to review the church's website through the lens of a first-time visitor, noting what they liked about the site and listing suggestions for improving the site.
  • Create plans for helping team members learn about the congregation, navigating change, and what it means to be a thriving congregation.

STEP 2 | REVIEW your ministry context

GOAL: Create a Congregation & Community Report; share findings with the congregation.
  • Gather feedback from church leaders about the church's strengths and challenges. Create a SCORE Report and share with elected leaders.
  • Complete a Congregational Vitality Survey; share survey results and members/leaders.
  • Interview community leaders about the needs an opportunities within the community.
  • Gather demographic information about the local community.
  • List current programs & activities related to faith formation, building community, and serving your neighbors.
  • List likes and suggestions related to the church's branding and communication platforms.
  • List key messages the church seem to consistently reinforce; list messages that may need additional reinforcement.
  • List partnerships with other congregations or organizations.
  • Create a Congregation & Community Report.
  • Share findings from the Congregational and Community Report with the congregation via ongoing meetings, worship settings, and all communication channels.

STEP 3 | RETHINK what is possible

GOAL: Host a visioning retreat to clarify what matters, and what to invest in.
  • Develop a pre-work packet for retreat participants.
  • Facilitate a vision-casting retreat to address core values, primary goals and strategies.
  • Identify norms and key messages that reflect emerging goals, values and strategies.
  • Write a Vivid Vision narrative describing God’s preferred future for our organization.
  • Share with leaders and members an emerging vision of your church.
  • Use feedback from leaders and members to further refine the emerging vision.

STEP 4 | REINVENT ministry plans and approaches

GOAL: Design a ministry road map that connect goals and strategies with people's words and actions.
  • Transfer ideas and intentions from visioning retreat to a digital road map.
  • Work with staff and vision team to develop tasks, timelines and accountability for key initiatives. 
  • Review/update lines of authority and timeline for all goals and tasks. 
  • Refine planning, meeting and implementation systems.
  • Refine staffing, structure, leadership development, and decision-making systems.
  • Refine communication strategies, approaches, platforms and practices.


  1. What would happen if your church leaders took time to review, rethink, and reinvent?
  2. How often do you review, rethink, and reinvent during meetings?
  3. When do you serve as the catalyst for reinventing lives and ministries?

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