In my years of working with many different types of groups, I’ve found that there are two extremes to avoid when it comes to planning.

One is simply going into all-out planning mode where we think through our project on the human side, make all the decisions, then turn around and ask God to bless our plans. When we do this, we’re living our lives as if there were no God—like a functional atheist.

The other extreme is the belief that unless something is spontaneous and from the Spirit it can’t be good. I worked with one group recently who leaned this direction and I told them: “The great strength of your movement is your capacity to hear from God. The great weakness of your movement is only being willing to work in the spontaneous.” The word that came to them in prayer was intentional. They need to be intentional about listening to God. In that there was no contradiction.

So which one are you and what should you do about it?

For people who are planners first and pray-ers second, they should quiet themselves and reverse that order. Playing to their strengths, they can plan times to pray and listen to God. For those who are heavily spontaneous in their reliance on the Spirit, they need to slow down enough to incorporate intentional prayer to hear from what God wants them to do and then make plans to do it.