Churches, non-profits, and ministries who try to implement ideas without setting definitive goals, will find they regularly miss opportunities for growth and improvement. Whether a singular organizational goal, or a set of goals divided by responsibility, taking the time to set a course for success can make a huge difference in where your team ends up.
Define the Goal
Merriam-Webster defines the word goal as: the end to which effort is directed. Simply put, a goal is the desired result of an action or multiple actions from an individual or group. Anything you want to have or achieve can become a goal.
Why should we set Goals?
Business Running in Neutral – Whenever you find your operations running, but getting nowhere, it’s time to start going over your goals. It’s possible to be floating as an organization, using all your efforts to complete daily routines, but not growing or advancing at all. Daily activities can suffocate the growth, advancement, and service of an organization.
Future Creating – Goal setting gives people the sense that they can control the future. Although nobody can actually control the future, when you set a goal, you give yourself a glimpse of a potential future. Teams who have set proper goals rarely feel as if they are out of countrol or out of touch. We will talk more about the concept of creating the future, and whether it’s true or not, when we speak on processes.
Increasing Confidence – Setting goals has the ability to increase the confidence of the goal digger. Even if the goal isn’t actually achieved, checking off portions of the goal (small wins) helps build confidence. Watching your team actually make achievements, no matter how small, increases your confidence in your orgnization’s abilities. Gained confidence helps you to be less fearful of future goals.
Develop Competency – Creating a goal of knowledge, i.e.: developing new skill sets or obtaining a certificaiton for your ministry improves your proficiency. When setting out to achieve goals teams get the opportunity to truly “learn” themselves. Ministries who are consistent goal setters become exceedingly comfortable with their calling, talents, gifts, and abilities, in addition to recognizing the areas where they may have weaknesses.
Things to Know First!!
Don’t create a to-do list for your organization. Often people confuse actual goals with a to-do lists. They have different attributes. Goals actually have further reach. Goals aren’t just made for the moment or short-term successes. In fact, the best goals are made with long-range vision, and long-term sustainability in mind. Goals also have a greater benefit than to-do lists, and often for a larger number of people. A task on the to-do list usually only benefits the person making the list and ignores the bigger picture or the organization’s mission. But, the best goals tend to have a greater overall impact. The best goals inspire new strategies and innovative thinking. They have the distinct ability to create and grow all on their own. People who have set great goals must devise a definitive process to achieve them and they also tend to inspire others to higher thinking and activity.
To-Do Lists – To do lists lack motivation and rarely require you to do much outside of your personal desire. They are often undesirable tasks and they usually don’t require motivation to complete. If they do, chances are they’re more of a goal, than a to-do. To do items are often achieved by just showing up, they simply require your attendance for achievement. For instance, if your to-do list contains “go to the gym” all you have to do is drive to the gym and you’ve achieved it. Again if you find yourself having to motivate yourself to accomplish a to-do, chances are you have a bonafide goal on your hands. To-do items aren’t normally challenging. Unlike goals, to-do items rarely require exerting much effort, or strenuous activity. They normally don’t challenge your mind or knowledge and hardly ever challenge your ideals or culture of thinking.
Goals Have Several Common Obstacles
Fear/Doubt – We have found that many organizations, especially ministries, will short themselves from the beginning because of fear and doubt. Fear causes them to not give full effort in their goals. On the other side of the coin, doubt causes them not to believe they can accomplish their goals. Both can cause a lack of clear definition (in order to set a goal, we must know what we really want to achieve). Whenever there is not a clear, defined end point, success will be minimized. It’s also imperative that your entire team realizes exactly what processes the goal actually entails. A lack of desire can also come into play here. If you’re not fully invested in your goal, your lack of desire will become a nearly insurmountable obstacle in your way. Doing things that we don’t see the point in doing, makes it very hard to stay motivated to the completion of your goal
Purpose – What are we trying to achieve? As stated previously it’s important to know and be clear about what the goal actually is. What are we trying to accomplish? Equally, if not more important, is knowing WHY the goal makes sense for your ministry. Why are we trying to achieve this goal? If people don’t understand the benefits and/or consequences involved with the goal, success becomes less likely.
Value – Is this goal worth achieving? Yes your team may believe this is a great goal, and yes you may be able to achieve it. But the question must be asked, “Do we really need to do it?” Will the result benefit us as an organization? How will it impact the ministry if we don’t take on this action?
KSA – Do we possess that KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) necessary to actually find success in thi goal? Anyone who has a goal they do not know how to achieve will never win. There are times when we must first take time to obtain the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed to achieve this goal. This can be time consuming, but is imperative if you want to see a win. Understand, this can be done during the goal acheivement process, if done correctly. Will this goal take additional training before it can be pursued? If so, how can we obtain that training and still make this goal achievable in a realistic time frame?