The truth is we all have dreams of where we want to end up one day. We have dreams of what the churches and ministries we lead will look like in 5-10 years. We dream of where we want to be personally, professionally, and spiritually. We all have dreams, but the reality is that many of us never see our dreams come to fruition.
For us to realize our dreams we have to move from being daydreamers to goal setters. Dreams are nice ideas that rarely come true but goals are detailed plans of reaching your preferred future. Goals are a written map of how to accomplish our dreams.
According to Dennis Crosby, there are 7 elements that make a goal complete:
- A goal must be written in detail.
- A goal must be clear.
- A goal must be specific.
- A goal must include a deadline.
- A goals must not contradict other goals.
- A goal must be accompanied by a plan to achieve it.
- You must believe deep down that you can achieve it.
If you’re missing any of these elements, you’re only daydreaming and not goal setting.
Once you’re ready to grab a pen and paper and start writing down your goals, here are my suggestions to move you from being a daydreamer to becoming a goal setter:
- Start with a deadline. I suggest a maximum deadline of 12 months (though they can be shorter) to accomplish your goal. I believe most people lose focus on 5-10 year goals because they are simply too far in the future and it takes too long to reap the benefit of the goal. However, if you insist on a long term goal, break it down by asking “what do I need to do in the next 12 months to move closer to my long term goal?”
- Next, write a clear and detailed plan of action for each goal. This is where most goals fail. You have to write out all the things that you need to do to accomplish each of your goals. This takes time to think through each goal and write every single step it will take to make it a reality. This is why most goals fail at this point.
- Finally, break down your goals into small increments. Now it is time to break down your 12 month goals into smaller monthly goals. These smaller goals help keep you on track and moving in the right direction. Your monthly goals will provide you with a detailed map of how to accomplish your 12 month goals.
Here’s an example:
Let’s suppose you set a goal to have 50 new volunteers serving in your ministry 12 months from now. The first step is to set a deadline. Since it’s 12 months from now, that’s done for you.
Now, write out everything you need to do to reach your goal. Your list for recruiting 50 new volunteers make look something like this:
- Write volunteer job descriptions
- Cast vision from the platform
- Set up online sign up form
- Have a ministry fair on a Sunday morning
- Personally invite 3-4 people to serve each week
- Place volunteer opportunities in the bulletin
- Contact new members who are not already serving via email
- Place ad in church wide e-newsletter
- Set up a volunteer booth in church lobby
The final step is to break down your tasks into monthly goals. Your goals for the first few months may look like this:
Month 1 – Write job descriptions, post them to church website, set up online sign up form, personally recruit 3 people each week.
Month 2 – Place volunteer opportunities in the bulletin, personally recruit 3 people each week, email new members who are not currently serving.
Month 3 – Set up a volunteer booth in the lobby, personally recruit 3 people each week, place ad in church e-newsletter.
Month 4 – Host a ministry fair on a Sunday morning, train current volunteers how to ask their friends to serve with them, cast vision for volunteering from the platform.
Repeat these steps for your goals in every area of your life (personal, ministry, family, etc.) and you will be well on your way from being a daydreamer to becoming a goal setter.
If you are interested in receiving professional coaching on making your ministry dreams a reality, please contact me here. I’d love to serve you!