PIE Model Component I: Planning

Posted by Jerry Roth on

The PIE Model (see PIE for Parish Leaders & Staff ) is divided into three key components. This week we will explore the ingredients of Component I: Planning.

Step 1: Church Leaders Identify Key Stakeholders

      Key stakeholders are those people who will be affected by your planning efforts. They typically include parish staff and ministry leaders involved in the development and implementation of ministry programs being discussed. Stakeholders also include participants (both providers and recipients) in our ministries. Long-range planning must also include a strong representation from the church membership at-large.

      By including key stakeholders in the planning process

§  you get the benefit of diverse backgrounds & experience reflected in more effective plans

§  you increase the potential for buy-in and acceptance of the final approved plans

§  you increase support for the plans in the form of strong volunteer commitment and financial stewardship


Step 2: Staff & Ministry Leaders Clarify Expected Outcomes

      A critical first step for any planning process is to develop expected outcomes that will be achieved once the plans are implemented. Not only will clear outcomes guide program/ministry development, but it will provide a basis for evaluation at the conclusion of the planning period.

      Expected Outcomes answer the question, “What will be different at the end of our planned efforts?” Let’s look at an example from each of the three typical church ministry planning periods:

      Long-range/Strategic Planning (3 years) – Example: By completing our church 150th Anniversary Capital Campaign, we will eliminate our long-term building addition debt.

      Annual Ministry Planning/Budgeting (1 year) – Example: By increasing our adult formation opportunities and improving our program marketing, we will increase our adult formation program participation by 100 people (25%).

      Individual Ministry Program (Fall Session) – Example: By incorporating multiple biblical scholar videos in our Fall bible study program, we will see positive evaluation comments about our Fall program that reflect the importance of having diverse presenter backgrounds as we seek to understand God’s Word through scripture.

      Note: Expected outcomes should include both quantitative and qualitative measures of success.


Step 3: Church Leaders Design & Implement Planning Activity

      Long-range/Strategic Planning  A typical long-range planning process would include the following steps:

§  recruit and form planning team (8-10 members)

§  identify stakeholders and develop ongoing communication plans

§  obtain & analyze key data & stakeholder input

§  develop set of Key Challenges that church will experience during planning period (3 years)

§  review and modify church Values StatementsMission StatementsVision Statements as guided by data discovery & analysis

§  develop set of Overarching Goals (3-5) that reflect the prioritized needs of the church

§  review and revise church structures (staff, leadership, ministry groupings) as needed to increase mission alignment and ministry expected outcomes

      Annual Ministry Planning/Budgeting – A typical annual planning process would include the following steps:

§  staff & ministry leadership review ministry evaluation from previous program year noting strengths & areas for improvement

§  staff & ministry leadership develop annual ministry goals & outcomes that respond to long-term Overarching Goals & short-term ministry needs

§  financial leadership develop projections of annual revenue (all sources) to ensure balanced budget

§  staff & ministry leadership prioritize ministry goals, strategies & action plans and balance resource requirements (staffing, budget, space, communication support, etc.) within limits of available resources

§  appropriate leadership body reviews & approves next year’s ministry plan & resourcing

§  ministry plans & expected outcomes are communicated to all church stakeholders

      Individual Ministry Program – A typical ministry program planning process would include the following steps:

§  ministry staff & leaders review approved ministry outcomes and resources

§  ministry staff & leaders review previous year’s plan and/or develop new plans that they believe will achieve approved ministry goals and outcomes

§  ministry staff & leaders develop a calendar of activity with specific preparation, orientation and implementation steps responsive to assigned resources

§  ministry staff & leaders develop a communication plan to support volunteer recruitment & ministry participation

§  ministry staff & leaders develop regular check-in points throughout the program period for evaluation & mid-course corrections to achieve expected outcomes


Next week we will look at Component II of the PIE Model: Implementation.

The Center for Parish Leadership is available to assist you with your planning efforts. Please contact us to discuss how we can work with your staff and leaders to develop effective ministry planning practices. If you would like to read previous Weekly Research Updates, you will find them on our website blog.



Jerry Roth

Research Analyst

The Center for Parish Leadership



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