In 1 Corinthians 16:1-12, Paul shares his plans with his church in Corinth. Notice how intentional and thoughtful Paul is in his planning. Whether it's about giving and collecting offerings (v1-4), about his travels and how he spends his time (v5-8), about how to treat his own disciples like Timothy (v10-11) or how to lead and take care of the church (v12), Paul explores different options, considers their advantages and disadvantages, and carefully plans out his steps.
What can we learn from this? Whether it's in regard to your ministry, your family, your finances, your future, or your friendships, be a thoughtful planner.
Some have this misconception that church leadership and spiritual leadership are all about "feeling the Holy Spirit" and nothing more. Those who think this way will try to make it seem as though thoughtful planning is somehow unspiritual, that to plan means you're not trusting God, and that it is more spiritual and supernatural to be spontaneous than to be strategic. Their idea is that Christians and churches should not make any plans; they should just go where they feel the Holy Spirit is going. Beware this kind of thinking.
The fact is that following Christ and leading God's people, just like leading a family, require loving preparation, planning, thoughtfulness and intentionality. If you try leading a family without these things, you and those you lead will find yourselves on an unhealthy, feelings-driven roller coaster ride. Yes, there's a place for spontaneity and allowing God to interrupt our original plans when necessary. But if you think that leadership and spirituality are all about spontaneity, then you and those you lead will be very healthy and you won't last very long -- eventually you'll fizzle out.
You'll find that the best Christian leaders do not simply chase feelings, but plan thoughtfully, asking the Holy Spirit to guide them and seeking Him for wisdom to make the best plans. In doing so, they maximize their effectiveness, minimize their mistakes, and earn the trust and respect of those they lead over the long term.
What area in your life is God encouraging you to be a more thoughtful planner?