A Evaluation of Superior Strategic Planning: A Mannequin for Church and Ministry Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs

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Aubrey Malphurs has been acknowledged as an professional on management points. He has authored a number of books on the subject of management and is the President of the Malphurs Group, which is a consulting agency. Malphurs has additionally served as a church pastor and has expertise in church planting.

Within the introduction of the book, Malphurs presents “the issue” [1], which is that almost all North American church buildings will not be rising, however slightly have both plateaued or they’re in a decline. He demonstrates the life-cycle of a church with the “Sigmoid Curve”. The Sigmoid Curve or “S-curve depicts how just about all the pieces in life begins, grows, plateaus, after which in the end dies.” This course of can also be true for church buildings. They’re born, they develop after which attain a plateau, start to say no and might ultimately die. Malphurs states that starting new S-curves to interrupt this course of is the answer to the issue. To start new S-curves entails the method of strategic planning. All through the book, Malphurs makes use of a crusing analogy to explain and clarify the method of strategic planning. The book is split into three components. Partly one, Malphurs explains tips on how to put together the boat or in different phrases tips on how to make preparations for strategic planning. Partly two, the method of strategic planning is defined. Malphurs refers to this as setting the course. Partly three, the boat is launched and Malphurs discusses implementing the strategic plan.

To start with of the book, there’s a disclaimer of kinds that needs to be famous:

The important thing to strategic planning is strategic management. You might develop the best strategic plan within the history of the church. It could be featured within the main journals on management. You would possibly publish it in a book that sells 1000’s of copies. Nonetheless, it is not going to occur with out competent, gifted management…


Competent management is the important thing to efficient strategic planning. The aim that I really feel that Malphurs meant on this book was to offer an in depth information for serving to leaders develop a private imaginative and prescient for ministry, develop the mission of their church, uncover the core values of the church, after which to develop a strategic plan that accomplishes the mission of the church. By serving to leaders by means of the method outlined on this book, Malphurs additionally helps them to turn into extra competent leaders.


The aim of the book is completed as Malphurs helps the reader join one chapter to the following by utilizing an analogy of crusing a ship. He states that, “Crusing a ship has a lot in widespread with strategic planning.” On this analogy, the church is the ship and the pastor is the ship’s navigator.

The church is a ship that makes an attempt to cross a physique of water, destined for some port. Simply because the ship encounters quite a few navigational hazards alongside the way in which (tides, currents, wind, flotsam, low water ranges, false buoys, and so forth), so a church encounters its personal navigational hazards (tough individuals, a altering neighborhood, lack of management, poor congregational mobilization, and so forth). Church leaders, like a ship’s navigators, will need to have a course of (compass) to plan strategically (chart a course) to achieve the church’s vacation spot (port). Although a restricted few can do that intuitively (they’re pure born navigators), most can’t. They want coaching to be navigators.

This book guides leaders by means of the method of strategic planning from the purpose of making ready the boat for crusing (studying and understanding the method) to the time of launching the boat (implementing the plan). Malphurs fulfills the aim of the book by presenting the planning course of in an comprehensible, detailed define.


One of many main strengths of this book is the experience of the writer. Aubrey Malphurs shouldn’t be solely writing from the attitude of a pastor who has carried out a strategic plan for his church, however he writes as an expert advisor with years of expertise in serving to church buildings develop a strategic plan for ministry. He serves because the President of The Malphurs Group, a Christian consulting service.

Chapter three is a power for this book. Malphurs stresses that the management must name the church to “non secular renewal and revival” as a part of the planning course of. “Non secular formation is foundational to strategic envisioning.”

Non secular formation connects God with the strategic planning course of after which its ministry product or mannequin, and it should undergird your complete course of. Should you image strategic planning as a home or constructing, non secular formation can be the muse that helps it. Any planning for the church should start with and be concerning the non secular formation of the church.

Malphurs doesn’t merely state that non secular formation is essential and transfer on to the following step. He devotes a whole chapter to the method of non secular formation and gives a number of biblical references to assist every level of the method.


General, the book is robust and the aim meant is completed. For that cause, it was tough to determine any substantial weaknesses however from a private perspective, I did take exception with one level that Malphurs made concerning why some pastors oppose strategic model pondering. Malphurs acknowledged that the issue could possibly be a character problem and that some individuals have a “concern or are suspicious of change.” He additional acknowledged that individuals who have such concern of change normally have the temperaments of “S and C” on the DISC character profile. One of many predominant traits of those two temperaments is that they’re passive and reserved versus energetic and outgoing. It’s true that these with a powerful S/C character kind will be resistant to vary, nonetheless they’re additionally competent, cautious, secure, regular, and are typically specialist. My very own DISC character profile outcomes point out that I’m excessive in each the S and C temperaments, nonetheless I’m very a lot a strategic thinker. Pastors and ministry leaders with this sort character might have time to suppose the method by means of however it doesn’t suggest that they won’t settle for the strategic planning course of. Malphurs made this remark solely as one rationalization so it’s actually not a real weak point within the book however only a focal point for this reader.


The meant viewers is after all these in management. The extra particular viewers is church pastors and ministry leaders. Malphurs states that, “Strategic planning requires a strategic level chief, a lead navigator. Somebody has to take cost, to captain the ship.” The book is meant as a information for the “lead navigator”, which throughout the church, needs to be the pastor. The planning course of requires a strategic planning group, so those that are a part of the method would even be included within the meant viewers.


The book was pleasing and informative. Though, the book is written in a simple to learn format, it nonetheless contained a whole lot of element on the subject of strategic planning. There is no such thing as a doubt that Malphurs is an professional in his subject and he shares an unlimited quantity of information all through the book. Malphurs is professor, a pastor and a advisor so the book is well used as a textbook, a information to strategic planning, and reference for any ministry chief’s library.

[1] Aubrey Malphurs. Superior Strategic Planning: A New Mannequin for Church and Ministry Leaders, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker book Publishing, 2005) 8

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