Daily Archives: April 17, 2012
Do you set goals for your ministry? Financial goals? Staff goals? Dare I say it…attendance goals? Goal setting is something most people encourage when it comes to certain things like losing weight or paying off bills, but it gets a little stickier when you start talking about ministry. Isn’t goal setting a little sacrilegious when we’re doing “the Lord’s work?” What’s the role of the Holy Spirit in goal setting?
One of my favorite sections in The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson is near the end of the book when he starts talking about setting goals – specifically, how to set goals. If you’re unfamiliar with Mark Batterson, he’s the lead pastor at National Community Church in DC and has written a handful of great books. The Circle Maker is his most recent.)
The list below is excerpted from The Circle Maker. What are you thoughts on this?
Ten Steps to Goal Setting (pp. 179-186)
- Start with Prayer
- Check Your Motives
- Think in Categories
- Be Specific
- Write it Down
- Include Others
- Celebrate Along the Way
- Dream Big
- Think Long
- Pray Hard
Two things jump out at me when I glance at this list: 1) Beginning and ending with prayer. I can’t think of anything more important. I’m an action-oriented, task-driven person. It’s easy for me to get so caught up in getting things done and chasing my own ideas that I often forget the importance of going to God with all things in prayer first. 2) I really resonate with #6, “Include Others.” If I’d written this list I would’ve added “Include Others – especially your spouse. “ Those of us who are married know that if you’re doing anything – even ministry – without the backing of your spouse then you’re only inviting problems into your life. When I include my spouse in my thoughts and prayers about goals for ministry, for life, or for our family they are 1,000% more likely to be achieved. And for those who aren’t married perhaps this particular insight is especially important. No one is an island, right?
Batterson goes into much greater detail about each of these steps in the book. Here’s an excerpt from his discussion on step #1, Start with Prayer (p. 179)
Prayer is the best way to jump-start the process of goal setting. I highly recommend a personal retreat or season of fasting…If you set goals in the context of prayer, there is a much higher likelihood that your goals will glorify God, and if they don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.