Many of us have heard that we should set “reasonable and realistic goals”.
We have been conditioned since we were young to believe that it’s irresponsible to think big. Going in 100% just sets you up for failure.
The truth is, “reasonable and realistic goals” have been the death of more ministries than insane, outlandish, and impossible goals.
“Reasonable and realistic goals” don’t generate the power, passion, or vision to excite anyone to action. I’d run through walls to go to Zambia and work with orphans with you. I would walk over hot coals to help you end child trafficking in Cambodia. But if you start talking about “reaching the nations” again, I’m going to bedside baptist next week. “Reasonable and realists” doesn’t even give your audience the motivation to get out of bed.
“Reasonable and realistic goals” are boring and uninspiring. It’s not worth the effort to take on these types of goals because the ultimate payoff isn’t with the commitment and sacrifice.
“Reasonable and realistic goals” are the reason your congregation isn’t invested in your ministry. They don’t care about your vision to “reach your community for Jesus” because it doesn’t mean anything.
What if instead, you want to commit to ensuring that 10,000 struggling sections 8 housing kids in your city graduate from high school in 5 years?
What if your ministry committed the resources to save 100 struggling marriages?
What if your ministry committed to rehabilitating 1,000 recovering addicts or helping women escape the adult entertainment industry?
Recall the story of Elisha and the widow from 2 Kings 4:1-7.
The widow was destitute and unable to pay her debts or feed her son. Elisha told her to collect pots from the neighbor’s houses. When she filled the last pot she had collected, the oil ceased.
The faithfulness of God filled every pot she brought. If she had more or less, the oil would still have stopped at the last pot.
What is possible in your life and ministry is only limited by your own beliefs and subsequent faith.
If you set an impossible goal like any of the ones above, people in your congregation would start showing up. They would start sticking their neck out because they want to make a REAL difference. They want a purpose to SACRIFICE for. Your audience wants a cause to COMMIT to but they won’t do it because you haven’t done it first.
Your audience is committing just as much as you are right now. When you take a stand and risk something, they will too.
Here is how convinced I am that you’re aiming at low, ambiguous, boring goals. I’ve read a million church visions statements here at clickmill, and I’m willing to be yours says something like this:
Your Church Vision: It says some stuff about reaching the lost in your community or in all nations. It says some other stuff about making disciples that make disciples. It says some things about getting some non-specific group of people to take the “next step” or accept Jesus. It might have some buzzwords like “reach, teach, send”, or “saved, healed, set free, discipled, equipped, empowered, and serving”. It may even just be a Bible verse. Lastly, may have a lot of all-encompassing language like “All, any, every, – every day, everywhere, everyone, the whole world, etc”
Any and all statements like this are meaningless and your audience (and I) don’t care. We’ve heard it all a thousand times. The only thing that these types of platitudes communicate is that you understand the discipleship process, that you read the great commission at some point, or that you know a bible verse. Tell us what the world will look like when your ministry has been successful. Show us how to measure our success.
Mission: A good ministry goal or ministry mission statement should both be big and explain:
- Who you are going to help or reach
- What you are going to help or reach them with
- When you are going to help or reach them by
- Where you are going to help or reach them
- Why you are going to help or reach them
- How you are going to help or reach them
Vision: A good church vision statement explains what the world will look like once you have successfully accomplished your mission.
Give your audience a good enough reason to sacrifice and they will show up every time.
Reasonable and realistic ministry goals are holding back your audience and your ministry’s growth.
What a spectacular failure it would be to shoot for the stars, and hit the moon. I’d take that failure over a lesser success any day.
Clickmill’s Vision: By 2028, my goal is to reach 100,000 ministry leaders through the internet with this training material. I want to give ministry leaders the tools and empowerment they need to reach more people, more effectively. To build trust in the curriculum I will offer an above 100% return if it’s not the best ministry course the client has ever taken. Additionally, For each purchase of the course, I will give away one free course to any international church plant or international satellite campus of the purchaser.
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