This the 5th post in a multi-part series. Click here to read the previous post.
In our last several posts, we discussed the what it means to be missional and how to go about developing a missional plan for a congregation.
In this next series of posts, we move up a level in the ecclesiastical food chain for a discussion of how to go about developing a missional plan for a diocese, district, synod, or other adjudicatory.
It’s harder to develop a missional plan at the diocesan level than at the congregational level: not because of the process but because of the politics. The process is easier because there are fewer demographic “moving parts” to track. But the politics are harder because an honest diocesan mission plan cannot avoid venturing into the political minefield of resource prioritization and reallocation questions. Because nothing opens up fissures in the fabric of a diocese like talking about opening, redeveloping, and closing congregations, especially closing. Because every congregation that needs to be closed has a “great,” emotion-driven story about why they shouldn’t be, while diocesan leadership haven’t had ready access to the information necessary to create a convincing data-driven story about why they should. Which is why many dioceses avoid this kind of planning altogether or abandon the effort after running into political roadblocks.