Connect, Lead, Equip: Ministry Resources for Planning
Planning is vital in our personal lives, work lives, and ministries. When it comes to planning, it’s not about only focusing on action steps such as three things we need to do to improve our work. Yes, implementing action steps helps achieve our goals. But, to be successful planners in our jobs and ministries, we need to begin with growing our understanding of and awe of who Christ is and what He has done for us. We must be relying on Christ as the core of our lives internally for us to effectively rely on Him when facing the challenges of work life, carrying out community projects, etc. That’s where we must begin.
It’s important to live life from the asset of our sufficiency in Christ, not from the deficit of our impoverished selves. Christ’s strength in us is how we live. We don’t live out of our weakness. In life, we can’t be always looking to get something. Rather, learning to live with what we already have is key. We need to begin with Christ, pursue Him passionately, know Him deeply, love Him intensely, and abide in Him continually. He’s our treasure and He’s our lives. We need to remain submissive to God.
This is both the realization and continual remembrance that life is not about us. Look at the following passage in James Chapter 4.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is our lives? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that,’” (James 4:13-15, ESV).
It says, “You do not know what tomorrow will bring.” In other words, we’re not inerrant forecasters of what will happen. We seek to be wise and thoughtful in our planning, but we only know so much. We don’t know enough to guarantee our plans. So, we must say, “If the Lord wills.” He’s the ultimate determiner of events and so all planning must be in submission to His will. We must ask, “does what I’m planning align with the known will of God revealed in His word?”
If so, we proceed, yet understand that He’s still in charge of circumstances and events. As we make our plans, we bring them to God. We say, “Lord, these are my plans, I believe they line up with what I know of your will, but I submit them to you fully. You are greater than I am; you know it all and can do it all.”
The Bible says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established,” (Proverbs 16:3, ESV). In that Scripture “commit” means “to roll.” It’s a picture of trust. In this context, commitment involves turning something over to another for management and letting them carry the load. The idea is that of rolling our work from our control (the place of self-trust) onto the Lord so that we trust Him with the details. This is how we rest in His sovereignty. “Works” in this context, includes our plans, affairs, pursuits, achievements, goals, and purposes. The idea is to recognize the sovereignty, the majesty, the wisdom, the grace, and the power of God. We’re to roll our plans upon the Lord and rest in His sovereign goodness in the matter.
God tells us to recognize His sovereignty, hope in His goodness, and trust our plans into His keeping. When we do this, He will guide our steps and establish our plans. This is all in accordance with His purpose and His righteousness. This is planning with God, not planning and asking God to bless our plans.
Successful planning means fully desiring God to rearrange our plans so that they align with His. And for that we pray for His wisdom and guidance which He has promised to give if we ask for it. Planning is not simply a human skill. It has spiritual roots. It’s tied to Jesus Christ and His design for our lives.