Rob Carman unpacks why establishing a goals program can help the growth and vitality of your church.

Regardless of why you are reading through this article, it will prove to be a great benefit in your life. So many people go through life and do nothing more than play the game; victim mentality. It’s always something, somewhere, or someone that is stopping them from accomplishing what they feel they were born to do. The problem with being the victim is that you always will be the victim; nothing will improve.

I have developed these writings to lift you, your family, your church, or business out of this mind set and put you into a position of accomplishment and action. You, through God’s Holy Spirit, need to be in the driver’s seat.

With over three decades of ministry in over 60 nations, I’ve seen what can happen when you create momentum. Momentum creates an environment of growth. The hardest thing is to start momentum. But once started, life will be breathed into all you are doing.

The problem in most of our lives is not that we can’t achieve, it’s that we don’t know how to get started. This means we frustrate ourselves in a game of hit or miss until we form a conflusion that God doesn’t want us to do this, or this is not for me.

In reality, the difficulty lies within an initial understanding of how to focus and discipline our lives toward a particular thing. To accomplish this, we need to know how to start and write a proper goals program.

While pastoring for 22 years, we discovered that if we create a proper goals program for all areas of the church it accomplished outstanding results. For example, it put all staff on the same page, no small task in a church, we established departmental budgets, which in return gave us our yearly budget. I can tell you from experience that most churches run by the seat of their pants, from Sunday to Sunday, with the money going to the one that makes the most noise.

From a goals program, we could clearly see where we were and how to get where we needed to be. It proveded a yearly calendar, so we could plan events and allowed all areas of the church to know and cooperate in these events without conflict.

It brought us together as a team; it focused us, strengthened us, and became the tool to get out of us all that God put in us.

Did you know that 97% of us have never developed a proper goals program? I didn’t say you don’t have goals; almost all of us have things that we want to accomplish, but most never achieve them.

Genesis 1:1-2 says that the earth was formless and empty. It took form and chaos left when God began to create. The same can be said about our lives, family and church. Many are in chaos because there is nothing in place to bring order. Goals don’t predict our future, they help us construct it.

Let me give you some reasons why we don’t set goals.

1. FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.

It’s dangerous to fly but it’s more dangerous for planes to sit on the ground. They will rust out faster than they will wear out. It’s dangerous for ships to sail, but it’s far more dangerous for them not to because they will fall apart before they come apart. It’s dangerous for a farmer to plant crops, but it’s more dangerous for him not to.

I think you see the picture. By trying to play it safe, we become the loser. Remember the Bible story of the 4 lepers sitting outside the gates of Samaria? They said, “If we sit here, we will die”. By not setting goals we create no vehicle that will give our life momentum, so we sit!

And if we sit we die, our dreams die, our passion dies, our creativity dies…  Listen, you always hit 100% of the shots you never take. William Carey said, “If you never attempt anything you’ll never do anything”.

2. We’ve never seen the advantages of goals.

Without goals we have no specific direction, so we are not as effective as we can be. Without goals, we keep doing what we’ve been doing, thinking something will change. Without goals, we are not able to say ‘no’ to the good so we can say ‘yes’ instead.

3. We concentrate on the problems and obstacles instead of the benefits.

In other words, we see the discipline and time required, we see the learning curve we need to take and we give up. Instead, we need to focus on the benefits that will be ours by accomplishing the goals.

4. We create unrealistic goals.

In our excitement to do something, we have a tendency to to start out over-zealous and create unrealistic goals, which become the seed bed of discouragement. We need to learn how to construct realistic goals.

Remember, the distance between what you desire to happen and what happens becomes your degree of disappointment.

5. We don’t know how

The last reason why we don’t set goals is perhaps the most revealing.  In Part II we will take you through steps on how to set up a goals program.