If you’re a ministry leader, then you’ve got goals for the ministry you lead. Perhaps you’re the organized type that writes down his or her goals and keeps track of them. Maybe you don’t have anything written down, but you know in your head what you want to happen in the next year of ministry. Or maybe your goal is to just survive and keep your job.
Whatever your goals are and how you keep track of them, pause for a moment and answer this question: do the people you lead know what those goals are?
Helping those you lead understand what your goals for your organization are is key to achieving those goals. In my context–I serve as a youth pastor and oversee a couple of dozen volunteer leaders–I’ve found that when I fail to make the goals for our youth ministry clear, it produces two negative results: 1) committed volunteers eventually lose steam and sometimes stop serving because they don’t know what they are trying to accomplish as a volunteer; and 2) the absence of any clearly stated goals causes some leaders to formulate their own goals, which may or may not be in line with the purpose and values of our youth ministry.
Setting goals and attaching benchmarks and time lines to them can seem to some a bureaucratic task that limits creativity and perhaps even the influence of the Holy Spirit. But setting goals doesn’t mean that leaders and organizations become slaves to those goals. Instead, clearly stated goals helps to channel the creativity and talents of you and your team. Most great, talented team members are ready to run, but they need direction from you.
I used to believe that my best volunteers wanted to be involved in making most of the important decisions about our ministry. Some volunteers certainly want to be involved in decision-making, but a dedicated volunteer once taught me a very important lesson. When discussing plans for an event, she stopped me and said, “Benjer, just tell me what to do, and I’ll be there.” She was more interested in doing a great job as a volunteer in than in making decisions. She needed clear goals to run with.
Do the people you lead a favor, and don’t keep your goals to yourself. Clearly communicate your goals so that everyone will be on the same page. You might be surprised at how your team responds.
Question: What goals do you have that you haven’t yet communicated to your people?