Goal setting is something that is talked a lot about in the corporate world and it is known that most successful people set goals. But the world of ministry is way different right??
Yes, we are not the corporate world, and yes our success is ultimately determined by God, not us. However, even though growth and “success” come from God, it is still very important that we do our part, have vision, set goals, and work fervently to achieve them.
Here are a few tips on setting goals and the most important piece people miss when goal setting.
Your goals need to…
1. Be Realistic
If you have big vision, that is awesome!! But make sure that the goals you set are realistic. If you are at a church of 250 members, it is great that you want to reach 300 students, but when you set your goals make sure you are being realistic about what you want to accomplish.
Also, being realistic is making sure you are not severely undershooting either. If your goal is to have students memorize one verse this year, which is still great if they do, but you may be setting your goals a little under the potential you have.
2. Be Specific
Make your goals specific. For example, instead of “I want to reach more students” maybe “I want to reach 10 new students by the end of the semester”. Be specific about WHAT you want to accomplish, and WHEN you want to accomplish it by.
3. Be able to check your success
Part of this is the WHEN, that we just discussed, but also your goals need to be something you can check up on. For example, “I want students to know more” vs. “I want students to be able to give a coherent argument for the existence of God”. Or, “I want to raise our weekly attendance” vs. “Average 5 more students a week by June”. Make your goals something that you can check your success on.
BUT there is still the most important piece…
I recently looked at a church website and as I scrolled through the “staff” page I noticed that each staff member had goals in their bio. I noticed that the youth pastor’s goal was to “grow the youth group to 50 students within the next couple of years” I was so excited to see that his goal was growth and he wanted to see more people come to Christ. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if his goal had any type of plan behind it? Any thought as to how exactly his goal would be achieved.
The most important part of goal setting is this… How will you achieve them?
~HAVE A PLAN, MAKE A ROAD MAP!!
A lot of times our “goals” simply become nice ideas we have about what could happen instead of something we work to make happen. They become a nice thing we write on the website, a paragraph or two we tell our board to make them happy, or a list we give our senior pastor so he/she sees us as a ‘go getter’.
If you are going to set goals, you have to come up with a plan on how to achieve them. Create a road map to achieve your goals. It is great that you know where you want to go, now you need to focus on how you will get there. This step is often overlooked and when it is, your goals become pointless and will simply be the thing you set out to do over and over again without ever actually achieving them.
Set goals! Set goals that are realistic, specific, and checkable. But also, create a plan on HOW you plan on achieving your goals.