We want our goals to be God-infused. We pray. We plan. We discern. We invite wisdom. We write our goals. However, it’s never a straight line to our goals. There will be setbacks, mistakes, unexpected events, new information, deeper insights, shifts in resources. All of these things keep our goals ever evolving!
Use these three question prompts to invite the Holy Spirit to guide your goal setting and to navigate the journey of adapting goals as circumstances shift in your ministry.
1. What will be different if I/we accomplish these goals?
More than once I have planned my goals more as an action plan or to-do list. But, my motivation can wane if I don’t see the impact of all the effort. I shared in my last blog about when I engaged in storytelling as a goal-setting activity. The story writing process created a clear and focused picture of the future my team’s goals would achieve. I still remember that year as a more productive year >> because we started with the end in mind and adapted along the way rather than strictly following a to-do list and seeing it get derailed.
2. How do these goals align with God’s Kingdom?
Ministry leaders around the table were expressing how overwhelmed they were with all that needed to be done. There was empathy and camaraderie. Then, one wise person chimed in,
“When I am overwhelmed it is a sign that I have said ‘yes’ to something God meant for me to say ‘no’ to.”
Ouch! Goals aligned with God’s Kingdom means we set aside what is GOOD, because it is not the right timing, not the right activity or not as critical to mission. With laser focus on the God-stuff, we stay on track. When the unexpected comes our way, we re-evaluate goals with the same question once again.
3. What unique talents and spiritual gifts to I/we have to fulfill these goals?
Our goals should inspire talent conversations. Sometimes we don’t know what we are capable of until we make it intentional. We have been created to do amazing things!
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Every good stretch goal is going to require leveraging talents. Drawing a quick “map” of who is doing what >> and who will need to do what aligns people to these new or expanded goals. A quick review of your talent map can be helpful along the way to adapt as new needs emerge.
Invite the Holy Spirit to evaluate your goals. Whether you are setting them now or in the middle of your ministry programs or initiatives >> set aside 15 minutes this week and ask God these three questions. Write down what you hear him saying today and share it with one person. What a powerful way to evaluate goals, right?!