I don’t really believe in resolutions. Which is stressful because when January rolls around—every New Year—I feel so much pressure to conform to the trend. It’s not that I don’t think evaluating your habits is a good thing . . . I do! But let’s be honest, most resolutions are not successful in part because there is no clear strategy in place to achieve them.
What I do think January is a great time for is goal setting. Even though January is the halfway point for family ministry, using this time of year to dream about the future and what it could and should look like is extremely beneficial to both your ministry and leadership.
Here are a few things to help you create smart goals for 2015.
Create a Vision
The key to goal setting is a clear vision. What do you want your ministry to look like a year from now? Do you want an increased commitment from your volunteers? Would you like volunteers to feel like your ministry is the best place to serve? Maybe you would like kids to be more engaged in worship? What steps do you need to create the right experience to engage kids? What about your environment? What do you want the experience on Sunday to feel like?
Sometimes finding your vision means getting outside of your bubble. Capture your dreams on a vision board or take a few key leaders to other churches to figure out what you like and don’t like in a Sunday experience.
Dream about what could and should be happening in your ministry.
Make It Measurable
The key to following through on goal setting is to make your goals measurable. Take your vision and create a list of concrete goals. Perhaps your goal is to have 50 consistent weekly small group leaders. What are the steps you need to take right now to arrive at your destination by Fall Kick Off? How many one-on-one conversations will you need to have with your current leaders? How many of those can you schedule a week? Break the big goal down into measurable, actionable steps.
Set yourself up for success with goals that are realistic and achievable.
Big goals are simply comprised of small actionable steps. You want more consistent leaders but you have three services and two campuses. Where do you begin? A great starting place is to identify the area that is the most immediate win. Perhaps you focus your recruiting efforts for one service first. When that age group has consistent leaders, you know you are closer to your goal of having weekly small group leaders in every age group and at every hour. Plus, you have the added benefit of creating momentum from the positive things happening in that service that will naturally overflow into other services and age groups.
Break down your big goals into small actionable steps.
Celebrate Your Success
Don’t miss this. This is something we often let fall to the bottom of the list. Celebrating each benchmark should be a part of your DNA. Some celebrations might be personal for you and others might be a celebration for your team. Regardless, they should be a part of your ministry culture. Celebrating each step toward your bigger goals builds momentum in your ministry. How will you celebrate each benchmark? Decide now—as you create each benchmark—what will the celebrations look like?
Create a culture that anticipates and celebrates next steps in ministry.
It’s so tempting to let January be just another month in the year. After all, most of us in family ministry are also making big plans for summer programming when things really kick into high gear. But let me encourage you to first carve out some time when you can dream about what’s next, set some measurable goals and then make a plan to chase after what could and should be happening next for your ministry.