We are at a time in the life of our church in which we must prayerfully discern our mission, vision, and strategy with a hope that we may most faithfully and effectively make disciples and glorify God. To recap, we have discussed:
- The Needs around us and asked the question: “What’s Going On?” We learned that our community is hurting and needs Jesus.
- Our Identity and asked the question: “Who Are We?” We learned that we are Christians who have been and are being healed by Jesus.
- Our Mission and asked the question: “What Are We Supposed To Be Doing?” We learned that we were intentionally created by God to love God and enjoy Him forever.
- Our Values and asked the question: “Why Are We Doing What We Are Doing?” We learned about our shared convictions that guide our actions and reveal our strengths.
- Our Vision and asked the question: “Where Are We Going?” We learned that we want to commit our lives to see Jesus transform our lives.
- Our Strategy and asked the question: “How Do We Get There?” We learned that we need to prayerfully develop a clear Strategy to carry out our Mission that fulfills our Vision that is consistent with our Identity and Values, that meets the Needs of those around us and glorifies God.
Today we shall discuss our Goals and ask the question: “Are We Making A Difference?” We shall learn that we need to set proper goals in order to determine if we are helping others experience life transformation.
Setting Our Goals
What are goals? A goal is something you are trying to achieve. When you set a goal, you commit yourself (desires, habits, etc.) to achieve a desired result. For example, a common goal is to lose weight. A guy may set a goal to lose 50lbs over the next 6 months. This person commits himself to a new diet and exercise routine for the purpose of being at least 50lbs lighter in 6 months. Goal setting is an important motivational tool.
Setting goals is not just for individuals, but also for organizations. Churches can and should set goals. According to Rob Peters, “Setting goals allows [the Church] to clearly identify what we believe God wants us to accomplish.” When we set goals–whether individually or as a Church–we need to set realistic goals that will stretch our faith. While they may sound like a contradiction, a Church needs goals that are realistic in the sense that this is something God can do through us (e.g., in alignment with His will). A Church also needs goals that will stretch our faith in that we realize that we cannot accomplish it without God’s help. Pray for the Refocus workgroup as they work together to discern realistic goals that will stretch our faith as a Church. We know that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) and He can do far more than we can either ask or think (Eph 3:20).
Sticking to Our Goals
Setting goals is not too difficult, sticking to the goals is difficult. Anyone can determine to lose 50lbs in 6 months, but it takes determination to actually do it. What are some helpful ways to stick to your goals? First, enlist the help of others to hold you accountable. Second, set smaller goals that help propel you towards your ultimate goal. Third, don’t let setbacks derail you. Fourth, keep your focus on the goal.
If you were present for the last sermon, this next sentence should not surprise you. Neither your pastor nor the Refocus workgroup has a list of goals for our Church. We are working on it and praying for wisdom, but our goals are something that our Church as a whole will need to discern and embrace. As we prayerfully seek God’s will in this, keep in mind that our goals should help us answer the question: “Are we making progress and are we making a difference?” If our Mission is “Helping People Experience Life Transformation” and our Vision is “Christ Transforming Lives”: Are we helping people experience life transformation? If not, why not? If so, how? Do we see Christ transforming lives around us? If so, how?
Here are some helpful questions to determine how to set proper goals:
- What goals would be helpful for us to set in order to best engage unbelievers with the gospel?
- What goals would be helpful for us to set in order to encourage unbelievers to take their first steps in following Jesus?
- What goals would be helpful for us to set in order to help people grow in their relationship with Jesus?
- What goals would be helpful for us to set in order to better deploy church members in service to Christ through His church and missions?