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mikebonemToday was the first day of strategic planning at LST. . . Well, not the first day if you count selecting the coach, but I have already written about the selection process, so this is the first real day because we did something! We spent three hours after church and after lunch with our strategic planning coach!

No one has called him Coach Bonem yet, but we are all happy so far that Mike Bonem is our coach!  A few days ago, Mike sent us a short introduction, so if you want to know more about him, why don’t you watch his three-minute video:  Mike Bonem

Today he met with the LST board and he will meet with us again tomorrow in the only face-to-face meetings he will have with us until the end of September when the plan should be finished.  Here’s what we did today:

  • He asked all of the board members to tell him what their day job is, how they first got connected to LST, and how long they had served on the board.
  • Then he asked Sherrylee and me to each tell one memorable event in our history with LST.  Sherrylee told about sending the first team to Japan, LST’s first non-Christian nation, and the big decision to continue beginning in Luke with the story of Jesus.  I told about our departure from Oklahoma and our move to Texas.)
  • Then he told his own story to us, not the PR version, rather a very personal story—one that gave us both confidence in his ability as well as in his humanity.

Next he drew the board even further into the process by proposing a monthly plan, including both the topics for each month’s phone calls as well as the necessary activities surrounding those topics for each month.

For instance, in April the coaching calls will focus on discussing input from different LST constituent groups, as well as preparations for a staff workshop. The activities for that same month include the compilation of the data from the constituents and conducting the staff workshop.

LST has such a great board. They wanted to know, among many other things, at what points and how were they to be involved in the process.  In spite of having full-time jobs, each of them really wants to participate and support the process.

The last activity of the afternoon was the standard activity of listing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to LST. We found it hard not to dive in and expand on or explore each item in all four of these lists, but Mike kept us from bogging down by promising that we would work with these lists tomorrow morning.

Mike served us well–but here is the dessert!  Because several of our board members are from out of town, Sherrylee and I invited them to come over for pizza afterwards. We invited Mike too—and he accepted!  How often do visiting preachers or other important resource people hole up in hotels after or between their presentations!  We were all very impressed that he came, he ate, he visited, really connecting with all of us on a social level as well as during the hours for which we are paying him.

It was a good day, Coach.  We look forward to tomorrow.

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