Aubrey Malphurs has been acknowledged as an skilled on management points. He has authored a number of books on the subject of management and is the President of the Malphurs Group, which is a consulting agency. Malphurs has additionally served as a church pastor and has expertise in church planting.
Within the introduction of the guide, Malphurs presents “the issue” , which is that the majority North American church buildings are usually not rising, however moderately have both plateaued or they’re in a decline. He demonstrates the life-cycle of a church with the “Sigmoid Curve”. The Sigmoid Curve or “S-curve depicts how nearly the whole lot in life begins, grows, plateaus, after which in the end dies.” This course of can be true for church buildings. They’re born, they develop after which attain a plateau, start to say no and might finally die. Malphurs states that starting new S-curves to interrupt this course of is the answer to the issue. To start new S-curves includes the method of strategic planning. All through the guide, Malphurs makes use of a crusing analogy to explain and clarify the method of strategic planning. The guide is split into three components. Partly one, Malphurs explains the way to put together the boat or in different phrases the way to make preparations for strategic planning. Partly two, the method of strategic planning is defined. Malphurs refers to this as setting the course. Partly three, the boat is launched and Malphurs discusses implementing the strategic plan.
At first of the guide, there’s a disclaimer of kinds that ought to be famous:
The important thing to strategic planning is strategic management. You could develop the best strategic plan within the historical past of the church. It could be featured within the main journals on management. You would possibly publish it in a guide that sells 1000’s of copies. Nonetheless, it won’t occur with out competent, gifted management…
Competent management is the important thing to efficient strategic planning. The aim that I really feel that Malphurs meant on this guide was to offer an in depth information for serving to leaders develop a private imaginative and prescient for ministry, develop the mission of their church, uncover the core values of the church, after which to develop a strategic plan that accomplishes the mission of the church. By serving to leaders by way of the method outlined on this guide, Malphurs additionally helps them to grow to be extra competent leaders.
The aim of the guide is achieved as Malphurs helps the reader join one chapter to the subsequent by utilizing an analogy of crusing a ship. He states that, “Crusing a ship has a lot in widespread with strategic planning.” On this analogy, the church is the ship and the pastor is the ship’s navigator.
The church is a ship that makes an attempt to cross a physique of water, destined for some port. Simply because the ship encounters quite a few navigational hazards alongside the way in which (tides, currents, wind, flotsam, low water ranges, false buoys, and so forth), so a church encounters its personal navigational hazards (troublesome individuals, a altering neighborhood, lack of management, poor congregational mobilization, and so forth). Church leaders, like a ship’s navigators, will need to have a course of (compass) to plan strategically (chart a course) to succeed in the church’s vacation spot (port). Although a restricted few can do that intuitively (they’re pure born navigators), most can’t. They want coaching to be navigators.
This guide guides leaders by way of the method of strategic planning from the purpose of getting ready the boat for crusing (studying and understanding the method) to the time of launching the boat (implementing the plan). Malphurs fulfills the aim of the guide by presenting the planning course of in an comprehensible, detailed define.
One of many main strengths of this guide is the experience of the creator. Aubrey Malphurs is just not solely writing from the attitude of a pastor who has applied a strategic plan for his church, however he writes as an expert advisor with years of expertise in serving to church buildings develop a strategic plan for ministry. He serves because the President of The Malphurs Group, a Christian consulting service.
Chapter three is a power for this guide. Malphurs stresses that the management must name the church to “non secular renewal and revival” as a part of the planning course of. “Non secular formation is foundational to strategic envisioning.”
Non secular formation connects God with the strategic planning course of after which its ministry product or mannequin, and it should undergird all the course of. In the event you image strategic planning as a home or constructing, non secular formation could be the inspiration that helps it. Any planning for the church should start with and be concerning the non secular formation of the church.
Malphurs doesn’t merely state that non secular formation is essential and transfer on to the subsequent step. He devotes a complete chapter to the method of non secular formation and gives a number of biblical references to assist every level of the method.
General, the guide is robust and the aim meant is achieved. For that motive, it was troublesome to establish any substantial weaknesses however from a private perspective, I did take exception with one level that Malphurs made relating to why some pastors oppose strategic type considering. Malphurs said that the issue may very well be a persona problem and that some individuals have a “concern or are suspicious of change.” He additional said that individuals who have such concern of change often have the temperaments of “S and C” on the DISC persona profile. One of many fundamental traits of those two temperaments is that they’re passive and reserved versus energetic and outgoing. It’s true that these with a robust S/C persona kind will be resistant to vary, nonetheless they’re additionally competent, cautious, secure, regular, and are typically specialist. My very own DISC persona profile outcomes point out that I’m excessive in each the S and C temperaments, nonetheless I’m very a lot a strategic thinker. Pastors and ministry leaders with this kind persona may have time to suppose the method by way of however it doesn’t suggest that they won’t settle for the strategic planning course of. Malphurs made this remark solely as one clarification so it’s actually not a real weak spot within the guide however only a focal point for this reader.
The meant viewers is in fact these in management. The extra particular viewers is church pastors and ministry leaders. Malphurs states that, “Strategic planning requires a strategic level chief, a lead navigator. Somebody has to take cost, to captain the ship.” The guide is meant as a information for the “lead navigator”, which throughout the church, ought to be the pastor. The planning course of requires a strategic planning staff, so those that are a part of the method would even be included within the meant viewers.
The guide was gratifying and informative. Though, the guide is written in a simple to learn format, it nonetheless contained plenty of element on the subject of strategic planning. There is no such thing as a doubt that Malphurs is an skilled in his area and he shares an enormous quantity of data all through the guide. Malphurs is professor, a pastor and a advisor so the guide is well used as a textbook, a information to strategic planning, and reference for any ministry chief’s library.
 Aubrey Malphurs. Superior Strategic Planning: A New Mannequin for Church and Ministry Leaders, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker E book Publishing, 2005) 8