I Will Go is the 2020-2025 strategic plan of the world church.
Published on: 06-01-2020
Adventist World associate editor Gerald Klingbeil met virtually with Michael Ryan, former General Conference vice president who now serves as assistant to the president. Ryan chairs the strategic planning committee of the world church and introduced the 2020-2025 strategic plan, I Will Go, at the recent Spring Meeting of the General Conference.
You have been involved in strategic planning for the church for the past 15 years. Why is it important for the Adventist Church to think strategically? Shouldn’t we just get on with the Great Commission?
God is the most organized and detailed planner we will ever know. He tells us through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy what the Great Commission really means. The Holy Spirit guides men and women to work with angels in delivering God’s plan of hope for a lost world. Strategic planning intentionally endeavors to align the energy of the church with the mission as defined by God in His Word. Our strategic plan is developed in the context of (1) accepting the clear biblical mission mandate; (2) working with quantitative and qualitative data as a resource; (3) working with all of God’s partners to develop effective and efficient plans; and (4) sharply defining the mission, vision, and resources of the church.
Why does the plan have three different sections, focusing on mission, spiritual growth, and leadership?
These three core subjects are the great inclusive themes of the Bible. Much of the organization of God’s work throughout the Bible is structured around these three themes. Together they provide a home for focused objectives that begin to narrow our efforts and guide the church to avoid such things as becoming political lobbyists or seeking the approval and recognition of the world surrounding us. Focusing upon these three themes not only responds to what God has asked us to do, but because they are biblical, they establish a foundation for God’s blessing.
Which of the 10 objectives do you find the most important, and why?
That’s a difficult question. The foundation of the church is Jesus, and our relationship with Him determines the purpose of our lives and our destiny. However, the church is organized for the purpose of mission, and mission benefits from the wide application of all the gifts God provides His people. All 10 objectives are vital to the life of the church. I like to say, “A fan operates best with more than one blade.”
What does this plan mean practically for individual church members? How can they get involved?
The meaning of I Will Go cannot be misunderstood. Get involved! We are a church of many gifts and talents. All these gifts and talents are worthless outside the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Even the most humble or simple talent, used with the Holy Spirit’s blessing, can transform the world. I challenge every leader to find ownership for each key performance indicator (KPI). I challenge every member to study the KPIs—pray about your involvement in each of the three themes. Ask God to direct and help you. Then roll up your sleeves and go to work. God will help you. He will help us as a church. Through I Will Go, Jesus will reach the world.