It’s budget time at our church; our fiscal year begins July 1. As church staff, I’ve done many annual budgets for Equipping, but this year was unique for me. Our budgets were to be based on our ministry goals for 2011-2012. So I first had to write those goals.
No church leader had asked me for goals before. Since goals must be specific and measurable, my first challenge was to determine how to measure “equipping people to serve”? Is it simply the number of people who are serving? Number of hours served? Is it a feeling that someone has when they’re serving in the “right” place? And how do you measure any of that?
I wrote my goals and am eager to grapple with them this coming year. But even though I’m only beginning the journey, I’m already experiencing benefits from those goals.
“Treading water” just doesn’t cut it as a goal.
- Goals get us all on the same page. It was a great “ah-ha” when I realized my next step is to help the leaders of our Equipping teams set their own team goals in support of our overall Equipping goals. I also resolved that next year I will involve those team leaders in the crafting our Equipping goals. Beyond Equipping, each staff member is setting departmental goals to reach the same mission and vision. We’re not in isolated silos any more.
- Goals move us to the concrete. You can’t measure generalities. So instead of “increase the number of people serving,” I need to add “by 20%.” Rather than “increase our serving in the community,” I need to decide how we’re going to measure that.
- Goals push us to progress. When facing the daily challenges of ministry, just keeping our head above water seems like success. But “treading water” just doesn’t cut it as a goal. Working toward a specific goal increases the odds of success. It’s a lot more energizing than just trying to stay afloat.
- Goals direct our time and money. I have plenty of good ideas; I never run out of things I want to do to help people serve. So I need goals to filter my to-do list and keep me on track. Which actions best contribute to reaching this year’s goals? Equally important, what activities must I give up in order to reach our goals?
- Goals create accountability. I’ve set personal goals before, but it’s different when your boss asks for your goals. It’s scary at first, but there are pluses. The goals are set with his input and approval. When new tasks find their way to on my desk throughout the year, and I know they will, my goals help my boss and I decide what tasks I’ll do. At the end of the year, we’ll discuss the factors that affected my end result. Goals build my boss and I into a team, too.
What are your ministry goals?
Do you have ministry goals? They’re as valuable for volunteers as for staff. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to advance God’s kingdom? If you have a heart for helping people serve in your church, what are your specific, measureable goals for doing so? Is it to get 25 ministry job descriptions posted on your church website? Have 50% of your new members talk one-on-one about volunteering opportunities within 3 months of the date they’re received? Is it to build an Equipping team? Pray over your goals and write them down. Share them with a church leader or a friend, and ask them to ask about your progress in 2 or 3 months.
And ask me about mine.
May the Spirit guide our goal-setting and power our energies for God’s purposes!
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