Learn More About our new Strategic Plan

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At the Sunday worship service on September 22, Reverend Cathy and I presented the Grace United Church strategic plan to the congregation.  A summary of this presentation follows.

Why Have a Strategic Plan?

Our church functions very well on a day to day basis.  If we want to be here 20 years from now, however, we need to engage more of the community, while continuing to serve our current congregation.

Successful organizations, whether they are churches, charities, or businesses, almost always have a long-term plan with targets and priorities. 

Therefore, a group of central board members, staff, and others got together on a weekend in May and put together a draft strategic plan.

We decided to use a format called a One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP).  If strategic plans are too big, they don’t get used.  As you can see from the attachment, our OPSP is very compact.

Click to Download.

Click to Download.


The OPSP is based on 3 concepts.

  • You must have priorities.  If you have more than 5 priorities, you don’t really have priorities.

  • You must have an effective way of measuring your success.  This is usually done through something called Key Performance Indicators.

  • You must have a “meeting rhythm”, whereby you continually update the OPSP.

How Does the OPSP Work?

The OPSP has a narrowing timeline from left to right.

The first column, our Core Values are forever.  They are not so much what we aspire to, but what we are.  Through a lot of discussion, clarification, and consensus building, our working group determined that our Core Values were as follows:

  • Compassion

  • Community

  • Inviting

  • Innovation

  • Inclusive

If you want a way to remember our values, just remember COME IN – we value compassion and community, and we strive to be inviting, innovative, and inclusive.

The second column is Vision, which has a 10 to 30-year timeline. We believe our Core Purpose is “To be God’s hands and heart everywhere”.

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal or BHAG is something that we aspire that seems far beyond anything we could realistically imagine.  Our BHAG is to be “Canada’s Most Compassionate Faith Community.

The third column shows our 4-year Targets.  Our priorities will be as follows:

  • Christian Development

  • Growth

  • Sustainability and Stewardship

  • Outreach

  • Fellowship

The next 3 columns show further detail around our one-year Goals, our quarterly Actions, and our quarterly committed outcomes.  Some of these plans and actions are as follows:

  • Implement Youth Program

  • We have started our own Grace United Church Playschool.

  • In October, we will start a new Youth Choir.

  • We had a tailgate welcome party to kick off our Sunday School year.

  • We will be continuing our very successful Homework Program in October.

  • We modified the upper lounge so that it can be used as our Baby fold during Sunday worship.

  • Develop and Implement Communications Plan

  • Alison Weaver has been appointed as our Communications Coordinator.

  • We have selected Blue Skies Ideas as our marketing company.

  • Develop and Implement Stewardship Plan

  • We have defined stewardship as follows: “Stewardship at Grace United Church means we work together to support God’ mission within the Church, the community and the world.  We participate in this mission by sharing the gifts God has entrusted to us – our time, our talents and skills, our treasure and/or physical resources.  All people who call Grace United home are encouraged to celebrate and share what they are able, ensuring God’s hands and heart are felt in the world every day.”

  • We have developed a form to track Sunday worship attendance and new attendees.

  • Implement Affirming Church Plan

  • We have had a preliminary meeting with representatives of the LGBTQ+ community.

  • We are working on an affirming signage plan.  The first step will be a rainbow “skirt” for the communion table.

  • Develop Worship Ministries

  • We have developed a year-long worship calendar.

  • We are participating in meetings with the Heart of Treaty Six reconciliation group.

How Will We Know if Our Strategic Plan is Working?

We have several measurements in place.  The key ones are as follows:

                                                                                    Current             2020 Target      2023 Target

Sunday worship attendance                                          100                  150                  300

Youth Ministries Attendance                                         30                    100                  200

            Sunday School, KIDZ Praise, Youth Choir,

            Homework Program, etc.

Global Outreach                                                            300                  450                  1350

            On-line streaming, web site hits, social media.

In summary, we are excited about the strategic plan and the progress we have already made.  We will keep you up to date.

Please let me know if you would like to discuss any of this.

Darrel Howell

Chair, Central Board