- Posted by Fiona Thomas
- On 30 March 2023
- 0 Comments
Using SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results/Resources) makes a difference as an appreciative strategic planning approach. In this month’s Appreciative Space, Reverend Jane Weedon will discuss how she used SOAR to help the churches she was ministering with prepare for her retirement.
Jane writes: I am a big picture person and encouraging churches to look to their future vision has long been part of my ministry. I very soon became frustrated with SWOT, the tool for identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, because I found churches readily focus on their weaknesses and threats. Discussions more often veered towards reasons why they couldn’t do things than acknowledging their strengths and opportunities. It has made a difference to use SOAR as an appreciative strategic planning approach which looks at Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results (or Resources needed to achieve the Results). This versatile tool can be used in many contexts to gain a broad overview and as a gateway to more detailed thinking. After briefly introducing SOAR, I will explain how I used it to prepare the churches where I was ministering for my retirement.
Jane has been using Appreciative Inquiry since 2010 when she was looking for a way to encourage a church who were “stuck”. A conversation, a retreat, an encounter with Tim Slack of Appreciative People, and connecting with Fiona Thomas planted the seed of an idea which eventually resulted in the book Appreciating Church. Now retired from United Reformed Church ministry, Jane lives in Lincolnshire where Appreciative Inquiry is helping to shape the retreat from daily life she and her husband are developing.
Jane’s early practice with Appreciative Inquiry is described elsewhere on the Appreciating Church website
Bookings for April’s Appreciating Space can be made through our event provider, Media for Ministry. Please email email@example.com for joining details. There is no charge for this event.
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