An online preparedness guide and consulting for church leaders. 

Ministry Continuity Plan (MCP)

A Ministry Continuity Plan (MCP) Is a plan that details the steps that are needed to take to return a ministry to its full functionality following an emergency or disaster.

During a disaster or incident, a MCP is used to:

  • Provide an organized, coordinated and consolidated approach to managing response and recovery activities to avoid confusion and reduce exposure to error.
  • Provide a prompt and appropriate response to unplanned incidents, thereby reducing the impacts resulting from interruptions.
  • Recover critical and essential operations in a timely manner, therefore increasing the ability of the Ministry to recover from an incident.
  • What are some key items to consider while developing your MCP?
  • Leverage your Ministry Impact Analysis (MIA) for information such as ministry process, names, maximum tolerable period of disruption for MCP, task timeframes, and actual recovery strategies.
  • Tasks should be in a sequential or other logical order and designed for ease of execution during an actual disruption.
  • Do not include preparatory tasks, which should be completed before the actual disruption.
  • The tasks should be sufficiently detailed to make it clear what the activity entails, but consider leaving lots of supporting details (e.g. standard operating procedures) in an attachment or in the appendix for readability.
  • Maintain member focus and utilize a discipline of lean solutions for ministry continuity to ensure timely service to your members.
  • Consider legal and regulatory requirements, as well as church policies and mission while developing specific tasks.
  • Consider both the formal organization of the church, as well as the informal delegation of authority when outlining tasks.
  • Understand that developing a MCP is not just a one-time activity, but an iterative process that includes testing, updating and maintenance.

In summary, there are 10 steps to developing a MCP. Review and re-familiarize yourself with the Ministry Impact Analysis (MIA) for your critical ministry processes.

  1. Document plan logistics

  2. Document plan invocation information and procedures

  3. Document detailed tasks and requirements

  4. Document contact information

  5. Document technology, real estate and personnel requirements

  6. Document or insert pertinent information as appendices

  7. Perform quality check

  8. Obtain leadership approval and signatures

  9. Document plan distribution, maintenance and exercise history log

  10. CET to review completed MCP’s

More detail is provided on developing these components in the download material document, “MCP Template.”

Questions to Ask:

How would your MCP change if there was an interruption in services that lasted one hour, one day, one week, 2-4 weeks, 5 weeks or longer?

Is time important in restoring your critical processes and functions?

Knowing what your critical functions and processes are, what do you plan to do in the event of a crisis concerning each of the BETH-3 items (buildings, equipment, technology, human resources, and third- parties)?

For example, what alternate facilities will you need should your critical facilities become unavailable? Who are the responsible people for carrying out your MCP?

What can you do now to prepare for a crisis, even before you start to use your Emergency Operation Plans (EOP)?