Strategic Leadership: Planning and Spirit Styles

Jay BransfordLeadership Messages, Strategic Leadership, Strategic ThinkingLeave a Comment


By Harry Hoffman

The Planning Style

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it” (Luke 14:28).  That bible passage suggests the following planning process:

  1. Sit down
  2. Estimate the cost
  3. Check if the resources / assets are sufficient.
  4. Build tower or don’t built the tower.

That kind of leader engages in strategic planning based on considering the desired outcome, and the necessary tasks and resources required to achieve it.  Typically this is not really a widespread YWAM leadership style.

The Spirit-Led Style

YWAMers usually do their strategic planning and leadership based on the leading of the Holy Spirit, such as:

  1. Pray and receive the Word from the Lord.
  2. Consult and pray with their peers, team members and elders to seek confirmation through scriptures, a sense of peace and other biblical ways.
  3. Assess the financial risk and level of faith needed to start the project.
  4. Trust Jehova Jireh to provide finances, resources and staff for each phase of the project at the right time.
  5. Start to build the tower.
  6. Pray continuously, intercede for the project and seek the Word of the Lord for each phase of the project.

What if we were to bring together both the “Planning Style” and the “Spirit Led Style”?  I guess both have strengths and weaknesses, both are based on scripture, and both do not exclude the other.

I think of all the different needs our YWAM staff have…
Some of them can only raise up to their full potential once their leaders provide them with frequent communication, clarity, vision, resources, strategies and goals. Others can only raise up to their full potential when given a chance to hear Gods voice and the freedom to implement what they hear, in relation to the project.

Both are needed, and both are taught in YWAM schools, in particular leadership training schools like the LTS and LDC. I want to encourage all YWAM leaders to practice and implement both styles of strategic leadership, the “Planning Style” and the “Spirit-Led Style”.

Personal Reflection:
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in planning how to accomplish ministry goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses in being led by the Spirit in order to take action?
  • What steps can you take today to become more balanced between the two?

*For more information on Strategic Thinking, click here.

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