10th May 2018
The importance of planning has been on my mind this week, as I have my annual appraisal next Tuesday. This is carried out by two of our elders and trustees, and I will be presenting my Higher Level Objectives Paper, a document which reports on the last church year and sets out our key objectives for the next, including a detailed financial budget. As part of the appraisal process, I will also be presenting a copy of my 2018 to 2019 diary.
Forward planning is something I do quite instinctively, but my experience of managing others has shown me this does not come naturally to most of us. If you are aware of the Myers Briggs personality test, you will know this can be a particular challenge for those who have a ‘P’ (Perceiving) preference in their decision-making processes. People with this preference (such as my wife!) like to have as much information as possible before making a decision, leaving them free to be flexible and responsive. Or as I like to put it, not wanting to commit in case a better option comes along! Joking apart, these are good qualities, but they can make planning and committing your diary in advance a problem! You won’t be surprised to learn that I have a ‘J’ (Judging) preference in my Myers Briggs – I like to make decisions quickly and have things settled in advance. Deb is always encouraging me to enjoy the moment and not spend so much time thinking about the future!
When we have busy lives with multiple responsibilities, I believe detailed planning is essential. It is important to pause from time to time, to step back and take a moment to look ahead. This morning I was asked if I could speak at a seminar next January. I immediately got my diary out and was delighted to be able to accept, knowing that I have already pencilled in my other commitments.
Here are some of the key principles I take into consideration when planning ahead:
1. Days off and holidays are first to go in.
2. Date nights with Deb are next.
3. Local church responsibilities go in after this.
4. Any ministry outside King’s fits in around what is already in the diary.
I give priority to family and home church responsibilities over any outside or trans-local ministry. Once these have been met, I then have the freedom to serve churches beyond King’s, following boundaries agreed with both Deb and the elders and trustees.
Hopefully, the two people I meet with for my appraisal next week will be happy with the diary I show them. But I know that submitting it to them, discussing it and taking their advice, will be a very helpful process. Whatever our personality preferences, whether we like to be very ordered or more flexible, I believe good planning helps us meet our responsibilities and avoid overcommitting.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.