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Deeper, Deeper: The Executive Summary of the 5 Year Strategic Plan

December 7, 2010


As Mt. Helm Baptist Church works to position itself as an agent for transformative Christian leadership in our city, our state and our world, the church must begin to make certain modifications in how we engage one another and the community at-large. These modifications will ensure the sustainability and posterity of Mt. Helm as a church and provide the critical support that the community and the City of Jackson needs in order to flourish spiritually, educationally and economically.

The Strategic Analysis and Implementation Leadership (SAIL) Team was commissioned by Pastor C.J. Rhodes to critically analyze the external environment and the internal operations and functions of Mt. Helm Baptist Church in order to provide recommendations for a comprehensive strategic plan. During several exhaustive meetings that included the review of suggestions, recommendations and historical context provided by Mt. Helm members during the Navigation Conversations and other forums, the SAIL Team worked collaboratively to develop an ambitiously realistic five-year plan for the church.

This five-year strategic plan is to be viewed as a living, working document that will be monitored and augmented as necessary to adjust to the spiritual, numerical and financial growth of the church. The purpose of this plan is to cast a vision of what Mt. Helm can be over the next five years and to set out detailed means to achieve this vision, particularly in the priority areas of educational enlightenment and economic development.

Need for a Five-Year Strategic Plan

According to Kennon Callahan, author of Twelve Keys to an Effective Church: Strategic Planning for Mission, “effective long-range planning will help a local congregation to achieve its mission,” and as Mt. Helm launches into the deep and prayerfully refines its mission and trajectory, crafting a strategic plan is paramount. Strategic plans are a critical component of transformative leadership and responsible stewardship and are especially critical in a changing environment.

The recessed economy and fluctuations in membership have impacted Mt. Helm substantially and threaten the long-term vitality of the church as an institution. Furthermore, certain components of the church are in need of updates and enhancements in order to function more effectively, and only through critical internal evaluation and scrutiny will the body be able to move as the Spirit directs.

The assembly of a ministry-focused work plan will ensure that Mt. Helm is an exemplary model of the body of Christ and remains committed to carrying out the work of Jesus Christ throughout the immediate community and around the globe.

Key Areas and Time Frames

The recommendations in this strategic plan are categorized by key area and time-frame. The six key areas discussed in the strategic plan are: Outreach, Property Development, Other Community Development, Ministries, Fiscal Policies and Procedures, and Giving and Kingdom Building.

Outreach recommendations focus on initiatives that will build a spirit of community within the church and with external entities, including community residents, city government, non-profit organizations and other churches. Property Development recommendations include innovative strategies to upgrade and utilize the properties Mt. Helm currently owns to benefit the church and the community. Other Community Development recommendations target strategies to enhance the educational and economic strength of the community and the City of Jackson. Ministries recommendations explore how to streamline the manner in which Mt. Helm auxiliary ministries are organized and aligned to maximize the use of resources. Fiscal Policies and Procedure recommendations propose innovative strategies to strengthen Mt. Helm’s financial foundation, and Giving and Kingdom Building recommendations focus on ways to enhance individual and corporate stewardship.

The time-frames outlined in this strategic plan are short-term (12-months), mid-term (3 years), and long-term (5 years). Short-term recommendations are capable of being implemented within one year with Mt. Helm’s current spiritual and physical resources. Mid-term recommendations will require a longer period of time to implement and may require collaboration with other local, state and national organizations. Long-term recommendations cast the vision of the type of body Mt. Helm should strive to be in its faithful attempt to serve God by the year 2015.

Overview of the Strategic Plan: Recommendation Snapshots

This strategic plan critically analyzes the internal and external factors that influence Mt. Helm and provides realistic, ambitious goals that will help Mt. Helm navigate forward over the next five years. Some of the recommendations from each key area are outlined below:


  • Mt. Helm should focus on increasing active membership by at least 50 individuals over the next 12 months.
  • Mt. Helm should increase its contributions to agencies and organizations that serve the working poor, impoverished and homeless populations in the immediate community and throughout the city of Jackson.

Property Development

  • Mt. Helm should immediately begin to make cosmetic improvements to the interior and exterior structures on the church campus.
  • Mt. Helm and should seek to acquire the remaining properties on Church Street.

Other Community Development

  • Mt. Helm should host a monthly or bi-monthly community speaker forum that focuses on education and economic development.
  • Mt. Helm should work with the community to petition the City of Jackson and Hinds County to reopen a public library branch in the community.


  • Each active ministry should submit goals and objectives for the 2011 calendar year.
  • All ministries should seek to enhance their connection to individuals and families within the community through more intimate interaction and engagement.

Fiscal Policies and Procedures

  • Mt. Helm should appoint a subcommittee responsible for researching the process associated with obtaining federal non-profit (501(c) 3) status.
  • Mt. Helm should establish an investment club for the membership of the church.

Giving and Kingdom Building

  • Mt. Helm should create a “needs list” with specific dollar amounts that members and other potential donors can review and elect to provide funds.
  • Mt. Helm should also work to educate members on the importance of tithing and provide more avenues for members to become acclimated to the tithing process.

from the December 05, 2010 Strategic Plan Recommendations document. For more information, please visit

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