Strategic planning in Christ is the answer
The importance of a good strategic planning is recognized by most organizations. Majority of organizations understand the need to clearly identify their mission and objectives, their priorities and targets for improvement and the actions to be taken to achieve them. Churches in Kenya are faced with various challenges emanating from external environment such as political, economical, socio – cultural and technological challenges. Churches have been caught unprepared for such challenges and the reason could be lack of adequate planning. This study sought to establish the strategic planning practices at Christ is the Answer Ministries. It also sought to establish the factors influencing strategic planning in the ministry. It used a case study design which was most appropriate since only Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) was used for the study. Both primary and secondary data was used for the study. To obtain the primary data, the study used interview guide which was administered on a face to face basis to four key people in the ministry. These included the director of operations, business development manager, a member of the deacon board and a senior pastor. The secondary data, especially from the already documented materials such as the strategic plan and annual reports was used to supplement the primary data which had been received from the interview. Content analysis was used to analyze data to arrive at analytical conclusions. For qualitative data, the researcher carried out content analysis based on the experiences of the individual participants. As the study found, Christ is the Answer Ministries has a well documented vision and mission statements which are revised annually. The formulation of the vision and mission is done by the top leadership of the ministry. Another planning practice is that the ministry usually does both the external and internal environmental analysis to ascertain the effects of various factors on operations before formulation of their plans. Therefore, the strategic planning practices in the Christ is the Answer Ministries follows the formal planning process. There are limitations in the study in the sense that Christ is the Answer Ministries was used as a representative of the churches in Kenya. It majored on one church leaving out the rest. The generalization of the results may not be applicable to all churches or ministries. The ministry has had a strategic plan for more than thirteen years now. Majority of the respondents have been in the ministry for 6 – 8 years. The question of what the nature of operation was before the adoption of the plan and factors influencing the strategic plan in the ministry were therefore not answered adequately. In most cases, the response was ‘am not sure’ or ‘I don’t know’. The study recommends that the employees of the ministry should be involved in the planning process so as to expedite the implementation phase and avoid unnecessary resistance. It also recommends that further studies to be done specifically to the various aspects raised in this particular paper. For instant, the factors affecting strategic planning and how different individuals influence the setting of strategic plans. A study should be undertaken to try and relate these factors to the level of strategic planning practices adopted by the ministry.