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Innovative Planning : Your Church in 4-D

SKU 9780827216501

by Bud Wrenn

Foreword by Rick Warren


Innovative Planning discusses the concept of organizational alignment, emphasizing the importance of aligning various components of an organization, including employees, physical assets, and intangibles like philosophy and values. While the term "alignment" may not be explicitly mentioned, the book focuses on organizational alignment and provides insights on making it happen. The key idea is to intentionally create a framework that facilitates and preserves alignment through planning and execution.

Experienced pastor, certified leadership coach, and consultant Bud Wrenn suggests a paradigm for organizational planning, emphasizing its role in fostering alignment. It rejects a one-size-fits-all approach, encouraging organizations to develop unique processes tailored to their contexts. The discussion leans towards congregational contexts, but the principles are applicable to any organization, challenging the notion that certain principles only work in specific settings.

Innovative Planning introduces a consistent corporate language around planning, highlighting four key dimensions viewed sequentially to ensure organizational alignment. Emphasis is placed on the dynamic and cyclical nature of planning, with adjustments made in real-time based on discoveries about the environment and internal context. The quality of planning becomes a crucial factor in determining long-term organizational effectiveness.

Wrenn addresses the role of prayerful preparation in planning, assuming a given commitment to prayer and seeking God's wisdom. The text emphasizes that God blesses planning and encourages the belief that God provides wisdom to guide decisions. The relationship between alignment and planning is depicted as inseparable, with effective organizational planning serving as a catalyst for alignment, contributing to organizational success.


“I can’t imagine how any church wouldn’t benefit from this book. It is a thorough, well-written, and compelling overview of the challenges faced by a congregation concerning alignment, innovation, and planning, and how those challenges can be overcome.”

—Patrick Lencioni, president, The Table Group, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

“I have needed this book for the past twenty years. What Bud Wrenn suggests has the potential to unleash and focus an extraordinary amount of power and momentum in our churches. He shows us how to take very seriously the work of leading God’s church, in both practical and visionary ways.”
—Nancy Ortberg, author of Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership

“Anyone can take the simple and make it complicated. Bud Wrenn is that rare pastor-leader who can take the complicated and make it simple. In this book he takes on the complicated issue of church planning and makes it so simple that even I can understand it and do it!”
—Nelson Searcy, lead pastor of The Journey Church in New York City, author and founder of

“Bud’s use of metaphor and diagrams are powerful and memorable teaching tools for lay leaders and clergy alike. Readers will be stretched, encouraged, and helped significantly by this book!”
—Edward H. Hammett, author of Spiritual Leadership in a Secular Age and Reaching People Under 40 while Keeping People over 60