- • Why do you do what you do?
- • Why do you offer or not offer certain programs?
- • How do you determine what is a matter of preference?
- • How do you know if an issue is philosophical or personal?
- • Why do some programs receive greater funding than others?
- • Which ministries should be a focus for the whole congregation?
Every church answers these questions.
The answers are either explicitly stated or implicitly observable.
In the 1960’s President John F. Kennedy made a promise that America would put a man on the moon. During that time period the story is told that Kennedy was walking through the halls of NASA and stopped to speak to a custodian. President Kennedy asked him, “What do you do here?” The janitor replied, “I am putting a man on the moon…”
That kind of philosophical continuity accomplished a “…giant leap for mankind.” Fort that reason, McGowan Search partners with Jean Larroux and Visus Partners to do Mission/Vision strategy which he calls “Moon Meeting Weekends™.” Unlike many other strategic planning processes the “Moon Meeting” process is not designed to produce binders full of strategy and ‘strategy speak’ which will sit on a shelf and collect dust over the next decade. We developed this process to be personal, practical and implementable immediately. Unique to the “Moon Meeting” is that the end product is NOT BASED on a pre-conceived formula for church vitality or growth. Many growth gurus offer formulas and seminars designed to help you duplicate the programs that worked for them. We don’t have a formula, program or an agenda. We believe that your unique church, in your unique location, with your unique makeup of pastors, people and passions has a unique calling. Our goal is to give you permission to look in the mirror and acknowledge who you are (and who you aren’t) and then encourage you to give yourselves fully to that calling!
Philosophical alignment is important to any organization, but when an affinity-based organization like the church can corporately identify and agree on what particular “moon” they are called to set foot on then an amazing vitality occurs.
The “Moon Meeting” is actually a process, not a meeting. It is a weekend planning retreat that is the culmination of months of data gathering and preparation. Churches are asked to identify up to 45 participants who will answer three unique surveys. The gathered data is used to facilitate discussion and contemplation during the weekend. Participants will engage in large meetings for “group think” and then work together in smaller break out sessions for more granular consideration of issues.
After the “Moon Meeting” you will get a final document that is just one page not mountains of data. This summary can then be offered to the church leadership for final approval. After just 48 hours together this cross-section of people who have gathered together will have a shared understanding of the mission/vision of the church; a statement that reflects your unique mission/vision; an articulation of that mission which can be shared, owned and implemented across all ministries; a practical understanding of how to use this tool as a metric to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the myriad of good ideas presented to leadership for consideration and marching orders with practical next steps for strategy formulation.
This proprietary process has been used to help churches (from 100 members to several thousand), non-profit boards and for-profit corporations all achieve philosophical alignment. It is hard work to look in the mirror and identify strengths and places for growth, but ultimately when an organization is willing to do what is necessary for unity the synergy is amazing.