Connect, Lead, Equip: Reasons Christian Leaders Need to Make Plans and Follow God’s Example
We may think that planning is too structured. It may seem that it curbs our freedom to be spontaneous and limits our options in life. But the reality is that planning is for everyone. Everyone may not plan the same way. We may differ in planning style, but everyone plans. Spontaneity (responding in the moment to a new opportunity or crisis) is enhanced by planning, not inhibited. Once we have at least a basic plan, we’re free to improvise as needed and wanted within that plan.
4 Reasons Christian Leaders Need to Make Plans:
- God is a planner –
The ultimate reason for planning is that God is a leader and He plans. We’re created in His image to reflect and represent who He is. Therefore, we are to be planners as well. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, recorded God’s self-expression, “for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’” (Isaiah 46:9-10, ESV). God plans. From eternity past to eternity future He has sovereignly established the course of humanity. He will fulfill His grand design. So, it’s right to approach the important things in work and life with forethought and planning, not randomly or haphazardly.
- Planning is wise –
We simply need to go to the words of Solomon in the book of Proverbs to see that planning is wise. “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest,” (Proverbs 6:6-8, ESV). “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps,” (Proverbs 14:15, ESV). Planners look ahead, anticipating the future instead of being totally consumed with the present. The prudent (the person of insight) sees where he’s going. He thinks before he acts. Proverbs teaches that if we want to live a life of wisdom and prosperity, careful planning is a must.
- Because life is brief –
James Chapter 4 gives instruction regarding planning. It delivers a warning about planning without God. This kind of planning happens when we assume we know enough to handle all the contingencies and that we’re guaranteed the future. James says that is foolish thinking. “What is our lives? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” (James 4:14, ESV). The wording “you are a mist” reminds us that in the scope of eternity we’re here today and gone tomorrow. We’re a blip on the radar screen of time. Life is as fleeting as a puff of smoke from a fire. Since life is short, we need to plan well so we can accomplish and fulfill all that we were put on this planet to do. Planning helps us achieve even greater things in this microsecond that we call life. In the end, it will contribute to a life well-lived and a distinctive, admirable legacy.
- Jesus teaches planning –
In Luke 14:28-32, Jesus explains what it means to be His disciple. He tells His followers that they need to consider what is involved. As a leader, He warns them not to make an impulsive decision. They need to know what they’re getting into. Jesus teaches it’s foolish to embark on a course of action without a plan. We don’t want to get caught in the middle of life and have a picture of where we want to be, but no plan of how to get there.
Life involves a series of actions to handle responsibilities, pursue priorities, and seize opportunities. All of them require planning. What’s the plan for this week? This month? This year? Don’t just let life happen. Have a purpose and a plan. Planning begins with Jesus.
Michael Hyatt said, “If we don’t have a plan for our lives, someone else does.”1
- Michael S. Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2016).