God Goals

The Apostle Paul calls us to, 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5)

And though the intent here is much deeper than departmental goals, the principle of being strategic and intentionally reflective funnels down to how we are seeking to function as a ministry team within our church community.

Next week our staff will head into our two-day departmental goal presentations in which every department and key ministry area will share their 09-08 goals to the rest of the staff. As this is the second year we have embarked on these collaborative sessions, my intent is threefold

  1. To enforce team accountability in creating smart goals
  2. To break down departmental silos, hearing and feeling the big picture
  3. To allow other peers to give critical feedback in goal refinement.

As these goals have been developed in alignment with our values and vision, they are seeking to answer the wise questions of “What is God calling us to accomplish this year?…What exactly are we trying to do?”…thereby, making the most of every opportunity.

If we cannot respond to these questions…we will end up accomplishing very little.

And yet as we do these goal presentations there is still a natural tendency within the church environment to feel one central emotion: Fear. This fear tends to break down into two areas:

  1. First, there is the fear of failure…especially when you put it all out on the line in front of your peers…however that is what team accountability is all about.
  2. Second (and this is the big one), there is a fear that we are excluding God.

The passage that is usually stated is James 4:13-15 reading, Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain’; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (RSV).

But this doesn’t mean we don’t set goals! We have to keep reading as James continues stating, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and we show do this or that” (RSV)

We set goals, but we do so in harmony with God’s leading, taking the steps of prayer and surrender. Goal setting without God is arrogance, but that doesn’t mean we don’t set goals that seek to rest on the will of God.


~ by Dave Smith on July 12, 2008.

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