Most church leaders never experience what it feels like to have one big goal for their entire church. (Unless of course they are raising funds in a traditional capital campaign.) Yet, to be a part of a church culture that sets and achieves big goals time and time again is as God honoring as much as it is exhilarating!
What do most churches do instead of having one big goal? Its pretty simple. They either have no clear and stated aspirations at all or they have too many goals in an overwhelming strategic plan or cumbersome dashboard. The sweet spot is a rare yet priceless in-between: one highly visible, broadly supported goal. At Auxano we call this a “missional milestone” and it usually is based on a time horizon of 6 to 12 months out.
One key to understanding the value of having one goal, is that you have one goal at a time. That is, you keep resetting the next big goal to advance the longer-term vision of your congregation. (Learn more about the different horizons of planning.)
So what are the top ten reasons to set church goals one at a time?
#1 One goal at a time focuses the attention of staff and leaders.
No goal = little focus. Too many goals = playing for different teams.
#2 One goal at a time creates greater energy among the congregation.
No goal = unactivated potential. Too many goals = depleted energy.
#3 One goal at a time directs everyone’s prayers as a concert of dependence on God.
No goal = random prayers. Too many goals = low likelihood of any goal-directed prayers at all.
#4 One goal at a time helps leaders think bigger about what God might be doing.
No goal = smaller thinking. Too many goals = fragmented thinking.
#5 One goal at time means we will set goals for disciple-making outcomes not just for raising money.
No goal = you only set goals when raising funds. Too many goals = people never see the importance of disciple-making goals.
#6 One goal at a time generates a sense of momentum.
No goal = people define success any way they want. Too many goals = splintered momentum.
#7 One goal at a time helps us build toward bigger and bigger goals.
No goals = no “ramp” to bigger goals. Too many goals = each goal stays smaller.
#8 One goal at a time fosters healthy risk-taking.
No goal = no reason to risk. Too many goals = much lower risk threshold.
#9 One goal at a time connects people to the larger story of God’s redemptive history.
No goal = live in a smaller story. Too many goals = disconnect people.
#10 One goal at a time demonstrates God-honoring unity.
No goal = missed opportunity to show people our “togetherness.” Too many goals = shows people our different agendas.