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The importance of planning

Published: 27th March 2023

Archdeacon NikkiThe Archdeacon of Dudley, Nikki Groarke explores the importance of planning in this article for May editions of parish magazines. 

Back in the 1700s Benjamin Franklin allegedly said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Some are more planners by nature than others, but I imagine most of us realise that for an organisation of any sort, having a plan, a vision, a direction of travel is a good way of uniting people, giving purpose and focus.

I am therefore delighted that we as a diocese have, in meetings of Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, agreed a strategic plan to guide us through the next seven years to 2030. And we’ve received a huge vote of confidence in this from the national church, with their Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board (SMMIB) agreeing to partner with us on our strategy for growth , allocating significant funds to support our priorities alongside funds set aside for this within the diocese.

Our vision is to grow as Kingdom People in healthy and sustainable churches, and we know that for this to happen, we need to make major changes to reverse the decline in numbers of people attending our churches; and engage with all generations. So we will be focussing our best energy on three main priorities, and an underpinning priority.

Between now and 2030, we aim to:

  • Double the number of children and young people worshipping in our churches compared to 2019 figures, investing in more paid children’s, families’ and youth workers so that we have at least one church with a flourishing young peoples’ ministry in each major area of population, and two such churches in each deanery.
  • Create 100 new worshipping communities offering a range of ways for people to come to faith and worship God. (eg Forest Church/ Café Church/ Walking Church)
  • Invest in the renewal of around a dozen churches to ensure that each major area of population has at least one church with 150 people attending weekly, enabling them to support other local churches.

Additionally, we will Invest in our clergy and lay leaders, providing training and development opportunities to equip ministers for mission.

Of course, all these plans are dependent on God, who we trust will be at work amongst us through the Holy Spirit, as he promised to build his church. There will be many opportunities over the coming months to learn more about our long-term plans, and most importantly, to pray for them to bear fruit. I hope you will join together in holding these ambitious aims before God in prayer and explore how your church might play its part in these exciting times.

Page last updated: Monday 27th March 2023 10:19 AM

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