Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

Southeast Christian Church has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings in 1962.  The new campus has a 9,100-seat sanctuary and 770,000 square feet under roof.  With a staff of 340 employees, Southeast serves over 15,000 members and guests each weekend at 3 separate worship services.  For a number of years they have hosted leadership conferences attended by some 3,500 pastoral and lay leaders from around the country.

According to Mike Smith, Southeast’s Human Resources Director, a ministry this size has many challenges.  “We have a large and sophisticated organization.  However, in our almost 40-year history, we had never really taken the time to do a comprehensive strategic plan until last year – and given the complexity of the ministry issues we were dealing with, we needed a strong partner to help us through the strategic planning process, so we enlisted the help of The Covenant Group.”

Mr. Smith continued, “Leadership at Southeast perceived the vast opportunities presented by our growth; but, we were also aware of the scriptural mandate to be good stewards of our resources.  We believe that we are called to perform every ministry task with excellence, and we just couldn’t do that if we spread our efforts too thin.  Going through The Covenant Group’s strategic planning process was essential in helping us assign priorities and focus our resources to the most productive ends.”

Brett DeYoung, Administrator at Southeast, added that the planning process required diligence, but yielded fruitful results.  “Len helped us identify a large number of tactical initiatives.  Having that many objectives can be overwhelming, so we were best served by having each ministry area pick their ‘Top 5’ immediate strategic initiatives.  Identifying these issues was made possible by The Covenant Group’s research driven process.  The congregational survey data was immeasurably beneficial.”

Mike Smith agreed that the process produced lasting positive changes.  “I believe there’s a much higher degree of trust and cooperation among the staff.  We are behaving less as independent operators, and more as a cohesive team.  We’ve realized positive development in areas such as staff accountability, work processes, budgeting and our ability to prioritize our objectives effectively.  The Covenant Group gave us a solid and thoughtful product, one that was definitely worth the money.”


Consensus on mission, vision, goals, strategies and core values

Comprehensive, 80-page report detailing each ministry’s key initiatives

Residual benefit of increased trust, cooperation and productivity