Pastor Mark North tapped his fingers on his desk and stared at the computer projector sitting on the desk in front of him. It was broken – the lens was shattered – and he needed it for his monthly council meeting that night with his departmental leaders.
With a sigh, he picked up the phone to call his good friend and neighboring pastor, Brother Vernon Baker.
Thirty minutes later he walked into Elder Baker’s office. The elderly pastor smiled. “Come in! Got that projector you need right here,” he motioned to a zippered case sitting on the edge of his desk. “Glad we can help. This is an extra one we don’t often use, so you are free to keep it until you get yours fixed.”
“Thanks so much, Elder. You don’t know how I appreciate this. I feel bad, though. It seems I’m constantly borrowing from you.”
“And I from you! What are friends for? Remember that chain saw you loaned me? Works great! When do you need it back?”
Mark grinned. “No rush – just whenever you’re through. But this projector saves my bacon. I want to show a leadership training DVD tonight at my monthly planning session.”
Elder Baker nodded. “So how’s the monthly planning sessions going? Are they working out for you?”
“Absolutely! We have been holding them for over a year now. I meet with all my ministry leaders the first Tuesday evening of each month. You know, I don’t know how we managed without them. I can honestly say they have been the key to the success of our entire church growth plan.”
The older pastor nodded in agreement. “Remember I told you that if you ever stopped meeting with your ministry leaders each month that your growth plan would collapse. Setting growth goals and launching evangelism programs are good – but success lies in motivating and managing that growth plan for the long term. Of the four key parts of the church management plan I showed you – the annual planning retreat, the departmental one-year plans, the monthly planning council, and the weekly tag-in – the most critical of these is your monthly planning. This is what keeps your growth plan on track.”
Mark settled into one of the leather chairs in front of Brother Baker’s desk.