2015 Strategic Five Year Plan


Strategic Planning Committee

Overviews and Outcomes

Fall 2015 Strategic Planning Meeting Sessions

Does a planning process which involves evaluation and a long-range plan correlate with church growth? The answer is yes. Researcher Kirk Hadaway

Survey results show that 85 percent of churches which have grown off the plateau have reevaluated their programs and priorities during the past five years, as compared to 59 percent of churches which have remained on the plateau. Similarly, 40 percent of ‘breakout churches’ have developed a long-range plan, as compared to only 18 percent of continued plateau churches.

Committee Members:

  • Donna Bailey – focus: Demographics
  • Francis (Brownie) Brown – focus: Finance
  • John Burke – Chair
  • Marty Deschenes – focus: Finance
  • Ryan Goral – focus: Facilities
  • Colleen Harbison – focus: Facilities
  • Juan Hernandez – focus: Demographics
  • Rev William McKenzie – Pastor
  • Bob Myers – focus: Demographics
  • Frank Pietrick – focus: Finance
  • Luis Ramos – focus: Communications
  • Jim Vinyard – focus: Facilities
  • Greg Ward – focus: Facilities
  • Frank Weiskopf – focus: Demographics
  • Tom Witt – focus: Finance

Overview of Approach

Downloaded 20 Church Sites – Used St. Boniface Catholic, Iowa published work as a guide

  • Vision and Mission Statement – Group Activity
  • Demographics – Committee
  • Situation Analysis (SWOT) – Group Activity
  • Facilities – Committee
  • Finances – Committee
  • Communication Strategy – Group
  • Implementation Strategy – Group

Determining What OLOF is About

  • S.W.O.T. Analysis
    • Group activity identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for Our Lady of Fatima
  • Vision
    • As a group, define a vision for the parish. A vision statement defines a future state – the mental picture – of what OLOF wants to achieve over time
  • Mission
    • As a group, update the parish mission statement. A mission statement defines our purpose and answers questions about what we do, who we do it for and how we do it.
  • Parishioner Survey
    • As a group, identify the key information the committee needs to understand from the parish at large to determine which of the many recommendations should be prioritized

SWOT Analysis Process

  • SWOT refers to Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is an analysis process that identifies the internal and external factors that will affect an organization’s future performance. The process identifies answers to these questions.


What Strengths are important to OLOF's future


- Strong, Spiritual staff of Priests, Deacons and Religious
- Variety of Ministries that offer services and involvement
- Prime location
- Good facilities
- Friendly and supportive parishioners
- Youth activities and religious education
- Growing parish


What weaknesses affect the success of OLOF


- Only small percent of parishioners are involved
- Not all parishioners contribute financially
- Church participation does not match the number of registered families
- We have inadequate communications and technology
- Parish not seen as welcoming
- Difficulty supporting adoration
- Difficult for parish to make decisions
- No transportation for non-drivers
- Youth do not stay engaged


What opportunities may have a positive influence on OLOF's success?


- Develop financial strategy to increase funding
- Expand Catholic education
- Create outreach for inactive Catholics
- Ensure new members feel welcome
- Leadership development program to increase involvement
- Identify ways to improve attendance
- Increase focus on attracting and retaining youth
- Build up participation in existing ministries
- Improve communications
- Increase participation in 24-hour adoration


What are external threats to OLOF's success


- Priests are reassigned
- Losing parishioners to competition from other churches
- Loss of perspective members based upon first impressions
- Increasing competition for funding from other charities
- Gov't, policies and social norms threaten religious beliefs and freedoms
- Increased competition for youth activities that pull families away from OLOF
- Slow reaction to demographic changes may lose membership

SWOT Recommendations

The team analyzed the SWOT results to identify the three initial recommendations:

1. Establish a welcome committee.

  • Reach out to the community through advertisements
  • Greet people at the door / have name tags
  • Have a perspective member handout or brochure in the Narthex
  • Hold new member meals monthly
  • Call all new members to invite them to participate in ministries
  • Assign a host to each new member

2. Establish an outreach committee to focus on Catholics who are not members or not participating.

  • Reach out to the community through advertisements
  • Reference Pope Francis’s messages of inclusion and forgiveness
  • Utilize multiple media sources to invite participation
  • Hold open social events – dinners, dances, and so forth
  • Continue to take Holy Communion to the retirement centers
  • Evaluate need for a church van

3. Expand Adult education and participation to build a stronger church community.

  • Create a social learning environment
  • Model successful Sunday School programs from protestant churches
  • Have multiple small group sessions to allow participation
  • Share facilitation to keep from overwhelming a few leaders
  • Create forum for parishioners to share thoughts, feelings, and experiences
  • Follow up sessions with social time to build relationships

Why Have a Mission and Vision?

  • A mission statement defines why an organization exists and what it is trying to accomplish. It is used to remind and align everyone on what is important to the organization.
  • A vision statement describes what an organization wants to be in the future. It paints a picture of what an organization can achieve if it focuses its actions on a long term goal.
  • A mission and vision are essential for an organization. They are used to guide the organization’s growth and development.  They are used to align the members and leaders.  They describe the common purpose and the future state of the organization.


How We Developed a Mission Statement

  • The committee reviewed the mission statements of Our Lady of Fatima and the other Catholic Churches in the Knoxville Dioceses (they are all available from the Diocese web page).
  • Committee members were asked to write down the 3 most important words they saw in the mission statements. Each word was on a separate card. After duplicates were removed, over 30 words were on the wall.
  • A committee member facilitated the statement generation by starting the sentence “To…” and then placing 3 of these word on the board.
  • The committee members made suggestions on which words to use, the order, and how to connect them. Little connectors – and, the, with, and so forth – were added to complete the thoughts.
  • We moved words around and discussed their meaning until we all agreed on a final statement.

To serve the spiritual needs of our community through the sacraments and teachings of the Catholic faith, reaching out through prayer, faith, and charitable works to improve life and bring Christ’s love to all.
Our Lady of Fatima Mission Statement

Mission Statement Definitions

  • Spiritual: an adjective or pertaining to “the soul or its affections as influenced by the spirit controlled and inspired by the divine spirit; proceeding from the Holy Spirit” Rom I:II
  • Community: a noun “all the people who live in a particular area”
  • Teachings: a noun “an accepted set of beliefs, especially religious beliefs”
  • Reaching out: a phrasal noun “to try to communicate with a person or group of people, usually in order to help or involve them”
  • Charitable:  An adjective “of or relating to a person or organization that gives money, food, or other help to those who need it”

How We Developed a Vision Statement

  • The Vison was developed after the committee completed the strategic analysis. After seeing our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) each committee member was asked to write and share a vision statement.
  • The group was asked to write down the 3 most important words they thought should be in our vision statement. Each word was on a separate card. After duplicates were removed, over 40 words were on the wall.
  • A committee member facilitated the statement generation by placing 3 of these word after the phrase “Our vision is to…”.
  • The committee members made suggestions on which words to use, the order, and how to connect them. Little connectors – and, or, with, and so forth – were added to complete the thoughts.
  • We moved words around and discussed their meaning until we all agreed on a final statement.

Our vision is to be an active engaged community of Christ’s Disciples welcoming everyone through evangelization.Our Lady of Fatima Vision Statement

Vision Statement Definitions

  • Active: an adjective “doing something”
  • Engaged: a verb “to cause someone to be interested and involved”
  • Community: a noun “all the people who live in a particular area”
  • Evangelization: a verb “the whole mission of the Church and the activities of the apostolate through which she announces, implants, and brings to maturity the Kingdom of God”
  • Disciple: a noun “a person who believes in the ideas of a leader and one who tries to live up according to those ideas”

Committee Recommendations


  • Welcome and Sustain New Members
    • Create a Welcoming/Information Center in the Narthex
    • Staffed before and after masses
    • Provide perspective member a handout or brochure
    • Complete new member registration
    • Establish a New Member Orientation committee
    • Assign a host to each new/perspective member
    • Have a monthly new member event – coffee/donuts, meal, picnic
    • Introduce new members to the Priests, Deacons, and Religious
    • Establish an Outreach Program for Inactive Catholics
    • Develop materials to welcome inactive Catholics back to the Church
    • Provide training to ‘Disciples’ who are willing to talk to inactive Catholics
  • Develop a Stewardship Process
    • Create a Stewardship Committee
    • Provide education on faith based giving
    • Improve financial communications
  • Grow Participation in Ministries
    • Create a Staff Coordinator
      • Coordinate calendar for Ministries and Events
      • Schedule facilities
      • Coordinate Volunteers
      • Facilitate Ministry and Event communications
    • Improve follow-up
      • People asking to join a ministry
      • People pledging their talents
  • Identify Needs/Programs for Youth and Adults
    • Benchmark Social and Faith Development Programs in our Dioceses
    • Increase Youth (16 to 25) and Adult Education Programs
      • Identify and provide educational materials and programs
      • Utilize small group and/or home based sessions
    • Identify transportation options for homebound
      • Blount County Smiles for Seniors
      • Ride sharing
    • Support activities that target age and cultural demographics
      • Bingo or Game Night for Seniors
      • Movie Night for Youth
      • Knoxville Hola Festival that celebrates Hispanic Heritage
      • Community activities like Habitat House, Food Bank, and so forth
      • Local Mission Work, or Haiti Trip
  • Provide a Leadership Development Program
    • Develop a program to train and develop the next generation of church leaders
    • Conduct periodic leadership training
    • Encourage training for Church and Ministry Leaders


  • Facilities Upgrades and Maintenance
    • These areas need attention
      • Church – Upgrade Sound System
      • Rectory – Replace roof
      • Fatima Center
        • Replace/repair refrigerators
        • Repair griddles
        • AV system needs TV/DVD support
      • Technology
        • Expand network
        • Upgrade firewall
        • Upgrade Parish Website (almost complete)
  • Expansion and Space Utilization
    • Build a new music room
    • Utilize existing music room for Sunday Religious Education
    • Address Parish growth that is expected to exceed room capacity
      • Classrooms currently booked over capacity
        • Kindergarten
        • 2nd Grade
        • Youth Cave
      • Meeting space frequently booked at or over capacity
        • Columbus A
        • Columbus B
      • Must use Social hall for meetings and events of 25 or more
  • Capital Campaign Priority
    • Pay off asset improvement debt ($130k)
    • Remodel/enlarge Adoration Chapel ($55k)
    • Fix Sanctuary Sound System Add Cameras ($35k)
    • Add on new music room ($200k)
    • Remodel present music room into 4 multi-purpose rooms ($35k)
    • Enlarge social hall kitchen / purchase appliances ($30k)
    • Contingence ($35k)
  • Improve Communications Equipment and Process
    • Purchase one or more electronic marquees
      • Outside marquee to advertise programs and welcome visitors
      • Inside marquee to make announcements
    • Video Church Services for Homebound
    • Review and update bulletin boards
    • Consider annual Town Hall format for two-way communications
    • Utilize Social Media
    • Utilize a mass call list
    • Ensure Parish Web page is up to date
    • Ensure significant events are in the bulletin


  • The report was presented first to the Parish priests and leadership
  • Presentations were made for all parishioners
  • The committee recommendations were given to the leadership for implementation


For a full PDF version of our 5 year plan see below

OLOF Strategic Planning Committee – PUBLIC WEB VERSION