Establish ministry plans and team goals in alignment with Eastside’s vision, values, beliefs and Simple Church philosophy.


To fully understand the planning process at Eastside Christian Church, and how it works in conjunction with strategic targets from the ministry teams, in order to consistently execute plans and accomplish goals that move the mission forward.


  • Assignment 1 // Read and answer questions for “Eastside Planning Process.”

  • Assignment 2 // Watch “A Complete Guide To Goal Setting” and answer questions

  • Assignment 3 // Create a Ministry Plan and two 6x6’s (one for self and one direct report.) Answer questions.


After reading the excerpt below, answer the following questions with a brief paragraph on your takeaways and questions about the process to discuss with the group.

1. Establish ministry plans

If we want to understand the planning process at Eastside and how it works, we first need to look at the nature of Eastside as an organization.

In its 50+ year history, God has expanded Eastside Christian Church’s influence. We’ve seen 4,000+ baptisms, attendance grow from 3,400 to 9,000, thousands serving in our local communities and crossing borders to serve in other countries. We’ve given away $14+ million and counting to Compassion and kingdom causes.

There are three practical areas that have helped us move toward those outcomes that we believe God has fully and deeply blessed.

a. Clear and consistent vision to transform our homes, community and world. b. Simple strategies: Pursuing God, Building Community, and Unleashing Compassion

locally and globally. c. Accountability for alignment and results: Using tools like ministry plans, 6x6’s and strategic planning.

As we have diligently worked to align the teams, the people and the processes, the church has moved together as one and God has multiplied our kingdom impact.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. Joel A. Barker”

God has blessed the vision and the work to align teams. And because Eastside takes the kingdom responsibility of equipping people for their ministry seriously, we believe in building a simple church that moves in alignment in order to have multiplied impact. We spend time twice a year working on ministry plans, creating actionable, accountable goals for each staff member and presenting our plans as a staff so that we can all be on the same page. A common mantra we believe and live by is:

If you plan your work and work your plan, your plan will work.

There are three reasons we invest time, energy and effort into the challenging work of ministry plans and presenting them.

I. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. (Prov. 15:22)

A. Creating shared ministry plans that get presented gives opportunity for oversight, feedback, and input from varying levels in the organization. This way, we can collaborate across ministries, eliminate scheduling conflicts, and prioritize our most-important activities each week.

B. Shared ministry plans also create the ability to pivot or change if there is a dramatic shift in culture or the world. It gives every staff member and leader the ability to know what other people are thinking and creates huge opportunities for synergy.

C. Shared ministry plans showcase where resources are needed, where they are going,

and where they may need to be redirected in any season.

II. Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. (Prov. 16:3)

A. Shared ministry plans challenge us to be thoughtful, intentional and strategic in

what we do. It asks us as a team to spend time praying, asking God and inviting him to work ahead of us. They also create opportunities for us to dream and step out in faith.

B. Shared ministry plans help us as leaders and teachers stretch forward in faith and

allow God to fill in the gaps in between.

III. We want to invest our human and financial resources as effectively as possible to achieve

our mission and vision.

A. Shared ministry plans force us to be good stewards of resources by mitigating the

risks of events, programs, etc., all while also creating clarity around what, when, why and how each area will move ahead in the next season.

B. Shared ministry plans become guardrails for overstepping resource needs along with

creating evaluation tools to check if we are being effective.

C. Ministry plans are the guides by which we, in departments and as an organization, can communicate effectively what is going on all while being able to find clarity in complexity, accountability, alignment, and momentum in a growing organization.

2. Establish Team Goals & 6x6’s

The second part of the planning process at Eastside is establishing team goals that are reflected in the ministry plan and personal 6x6’s.

The team goals are coordinated together and create the overarching goals for our organization in the course of the year.

To arrive at team goals that align with the mission, vision and values, we use the lens of our core values being expressed in the vision.

Vision Driven Planning: We have a threefold approach to the vision-driven plan for ministry teams. Since each team sits under one the following areas, they then create plans toward the area they are accountable for.

EXAMPLE: (Small Groups team) They would create goals for getting people into groups, group participation, group dynamics, or developing leaders for small groups, all in accord so that they can positively affect the end goal of group participation and engagement of Change Makers at Eastside.

The way we measure our outcomes are as follows:

Pursuing God:

Weekend experiences where all people are challenged to take a next step wherever they are on their spiritual journey.

Building Community:

Small groups and Change Maker teams where people make friends, follow Jesus, and make a difference.

Unleash Compassion:

Next door, in our communities, and around the world in dollars given and people impacted or engaged.

We then use the following rubric for determining the success or failure in that area:

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● Ministry Planning System:


■ What’s Working?

■ What’s Not?

■ What Needs to Change?

○ The Process

■ Department/Team brainstorms/creates rough ideas for the next 6 - 12 months (What could you uniquely contribute to move the mission and vision forward over the next six months?)

■ Executive Retreat

■ Ministry Team Meeting (Gene shares vision for the next ministry season)

■ One-Page Ministry Plans to supervisors

■ Executive Team reviews plans

■ Ministry Plan Presentations

■ Executive Team finalizes plans and the Ministry Schedule is updated

■ 6x6’s due to supervisors

■ Employee reviews due to supervisor

■ Employee reviews completed supervisors turned in

○ Guidelines for Ministry Plans and 6x6’s

■ Measurements are outcomes, not activities.

■ 6x6’s are items only you can do.

■ 6x6’s are the six main items you will do in about a six-month period that carry out your ministry plan. (Part-time team members will do a 3x6 or 4x6 according to their weekly hours.)

■ 6x6’s should not include ongoing ministry responsibilities (ex, counseling, pastoral care, meetings, phone calls)


  1. Explain in your own words why it is important to prepare the ministry plan before building a budget, signing off on vendors, or implementing new strategic direction of your department and why the ministry plan is a critical element in the planning process.

  2. What do you perceive as your greatest strength and weakness in participating in the ministry planning process and list some resources you can turn to for assistance in areas where you feel you may be lacking?




  1. Why it is important to set smart goals when creating a 6x6 or ministry plan? What challenges do you face in your area when thinking about creating SMARTER goals?

  2. What are three smart goals that you could put into place for your area of responsibility as a director that could move your ministry role forward


Based on the following opportunities and obstacles, using this worksheet as a template, prepare a Ministry Plan for your area of current responsibility.

Create a personal 6x6 for yourself along with one other 6x6, that your staff would need to move towards the goals for your area of responsibility.

FACTS: You are heading into a new season of ministry at Eastside and you are in charge of bringing your team’s ministry plan to the executive retreat. Your current campus has a history of success and you have solid systems in place. Your campus has seen consistent growth of 10%-15% in attendance, new guests and local compassion engagement. Your small groups are leveling off (2%-3% growth) and your global compassion impact was negative (6%) for the past 12 months. You currently have 350 attending on weekends, with 18 new guests joining a week, of which 8% are attending Next Steps every month. You have 25 small groups meeting with 100 adults and 10 kids involved in local compassion. Two years ago, your campus had 200 people go Beyond Borders with a large trip to Mexico, but it has since dwindled to just 10 people this year. You are responsible for setting initial goals for the next ministry season.


  1. What goals would you set for your team, along with key strategic actions you would take in order to reverse the plateauing areas?

  2. What would your ministry plan look like? What kind of 6x6 goals would you put into place for yourself and for others on your team?

  3. How would you plan to address the areas that are currently struggling, while maximizing the areas that are thriving?

  4. You are going to present to the team, how would you honestly, yet positively, communicate the current situation and the plan moving forward in a way that inspires the team to go with you?

LEADERSHIP TAKEAWAYS (to be completed during group discussion)