Three Planning Processes

Choose from several planning options to help your church explore and apply your results

Your church is invited to explore and respond to your survey results in a prayerful, participative process by which you celebrate and define yourselves as a faith community. You may choose to celebrate your strengths, move directly to action, or engage a planning process to identify the vision and action which will enable your church to shape your future.


Implement a Planning Process

We offer a range of three planning options for leaders to use with their whole church. (NCLS Church Life Profiles can also be used in conjunction with other planning packages.)


Short Planning Session

1 meeting

(1.5 - 2 hour session)


Celebrate and reflect on strengths

To encourage a church to celebrate and reflect on the strengths they bring to ministry. This process is suitable for any church.

Every local church has its own unique qualities. It will have strengths and weaknesses. This Short Planning Session is designed to help them focus on the strengths that they bring to their ministry and to celebrate these strengths. The session provides an introduction to the Summary Profile (part of the Church Life Profile).
Who should be involved? The short answer is anyone in the local church who would like to take part. The session can be run by a leader from the church as it does not require an outside facilitator. About 1.5 to 2 hours should be allowed.

Short Session Outline (pdf)


Reflection Action Planning Process

2 meetings

(2-3 hour sessions)


Reflect and move directly to action

For churches to move directly from their Church Life Profile to steps of action. Suitable for churches already pursuing a vision, ready to move to action. Either already have planning process in place or not able to undergo one at this time.

The Reflection Action Process aims to immediately make use of the Church Life Profile as a moment to take the pulse of your church and to take some modest initiatives that will enhance an existing plan or help engage issues confronting the church.
A key to making this process work: The Reflection Action Planning Process enables a church to take some quick steps towards achieving a goal. However, if that is all that occurs, the process will soon die. It is critical that, once action steps are taken, the planning team meets again to reflect and plan the next steps in order to develop an ongoing commitment of action and reflection.
Who should be involved? The short answer is everyone in the local church – though this does not mean that everyone will be invited to attend all planning sessions. Over the course of the process, everyone should know that it is happening, be invited and encouraged to participate, be kept informed of progress and be involved in accepting the results. This is vital if the process is to be broadly owned.


Reflection Action Process Outline (pdf)
Reflection Action Process Presentation Slides (pptx)
Reflection Action Process Presentation Slides (pdf)


Comprehensive Planning Process

4 to 6 meetings

(either 4 weekend days spread over 3-4 months
or 2 weekend days then 4 evening sessions)


Set a vision together and pursue it

To assist churches to develop a vision for the future and determine action steps to pursue the vision to its fulfilment.

The Comprehensive Planning Process is designed to help local churches arrive at a vision for the future and to develop action steps that will enable the vision to become a reality. To be ready for this planning process you will need:

  • enthusiasm to look for and enhance life in your church over a period of a few months
  • good working relationships among your leadership team
  • people to carry forward the process.

The rewards of such a process are potentially very great, particularly for churches that feel they have perhaps lost their purpose or have become disconnected from their surrounding communities. This planning process can help such churches to rediscover their sense of purpose, to dream dreams and to cast a new vision for the future.


Comprehensive Planning Process Outline, Notes & Worksheets
Comprehensive Planning Process Presentation Slides (pptx)
Comprehensive Planning Process Presentation Slides (pdf)


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