Article by Teresa Chang
I remember our church leaders came up with a plan to train all the elders and deacons at once, by collectively enrolling us into an online leadership training program. But once our church had paid the money and enrolled, there was no plan to discuss progress, the materials being taught, or even hold us accountable to completing the program. It was up to us to sign up and do the course on our own. At the end of the program, only one person had completed the online training. Many had not even bothered to open the course.
As an intensely purposeful Being, God has a plan, and He encourages us to plan according to His plan, while remembering that we are completely dependent upon Him. We need to work in partnership with Him to accomplish the purposes He ordained for us.
A vision is what you see.
A mission is what you do to accomplish what you see.
A mission without goals is just an idea.
We need to set goals and objectives and accomplish them, but these things need to be placed before the Lord, with a sense of dependence upon Him.
Also, our goals need to be realistic. Many of us have probably heard pastors and other church leaders declare, “We want 1000 people by two months!” But they were starting with a group of 60. God could do that, yes…but without a plan in place, the chances of achieving such a goal are slim. To accomplish a massive goal, you need to have a good plan.
Here are a few tips for setting goals:
1. Make your goals well defined.
You and your leadership team can set up goals in a way that is friendly, inclusive and fun. Make sure your goals are rational and well defined:
- What are you going after?
- What is your desired outcome?
- How do you define this intended outcome in terms of quality and magnitude?
2. Make your goals measurable.
It is easy to measure “outward” things, like how much money you brought in and how many people visit the church on a Sunday. However, the inward, qualitative measurements are the ones you want the most. How many people are developing into maturity? How many leaders are taking on new leadership in your church?
Don’t be afraid of measurement…and don’t be afraid of readjusting the plan if necessary. Ultimately, every church needs to be in a circular process of achievement, reevaluation and achievement again in order to fulfill what God has put on their hearts to do.
3. Make your goals attainable.
Nothing is worse than setting a goal too high and then falling short. This damages your church’s momentum and enthusiasm. Instead, set and achieve smaller and more measurable goals to bring forth the quality of church you long to see. Momentum is a factor of many little successes that will work to increase your velocity, so your church can accomplish the bigger things God has for you.