Today we are going to talk about something crucial in regards to building the foundation for your ministry, but something that often gets inadvertently overlooked – GOALS!
Goal setting can easily be the determining factor in your success. In fact, I read once that the simple act of planning can put your ministry in the top five percent of ministry marketers.
When our hearts are on fire to see God making a pathway for our success, we often forget that we need not only need to pray and seek His guidance, but also that we need to get a little “business-like” in our thought process about setting attainable personal and ministry goals.
If you are groaning, and thinking that you don’t need to set goals because you already know that your goal is to be a speaker, then let me know give you something to think about!
Try to view building your ministry as you would if you were building a house. You wouldn’t consider building a house without having a blueprint, right? In the same way, we should not consider building a ministry, without having a detailed plan and some desired goals.
I want to encourage you that when you begin putting your goals down on paper, that you immediately put them to the test… the SMART test, that is.
The SMART test is not just being smart, but setting SMART goals. Setting SMART goals simply means setting goals that include specific criteria which are more likely to insure success in your ministry and your marketing efforts. If each of your goals can stand up to each of these criteria, then you will be on the right path for making them happen.
The word SMART stands for the following:
S – Strategic
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time Managed
Consider, for example, that an aspiring speaker had a goal such as this: “To become nationally known and have an active speaking schedule.”
Let’s face it, that is a very ambitious goal, and it sounds good, but it is really not a very a realistic goal. This goal is not taking into consideration any of the criteria that may need to be in place for this goal to happen. This goal is probably not realistic, making it unattainable, and there is no time frame for when it might happen.
Unfortunately, this type of goal, although inspiring, will put us on a quick path to discouragement. Not to say that one might not get lucky, hit the big time and become an overnight sensation! If that is God’s plan for you, then it will absolutely happen, but for most of us, it’s a bit unrealistic!
Here are a couple examples of a typical ministry goal, verses a SMART ministry goal.
Typical goal: “Contact 3 people to ask if I can speak at their church.”
SMART goal – “Make a list of potential contacts and addresses, and contact at least three people by mail by November 1st, followed up with a phone call on November 10th, inquiring about the possibility of speaking at their church in the spring of 2011.”
Typical goal: “Create a professional bio sheet”
SMART goal: “Have a professional photo made by November 15th, while researching designers for price comparison by the end of the month and have the completed project by January 1”
See the difference? The first goal in both situations is fine, however, the second goal is empowering, motivating and action-oriented.
The SMART goals not only state the function you are going to carry out, but it includes parameters and even dates that will help you meet the desired outcome. Setting expectations for ourselves can greatly boost our success, because it gives us a way to hold ourselves accountable.
Take a few days to consider and pray about your personal goals for ministry. Then, try to put those goals into the format of a SMART goal, where you specifically describe not just the goal, but the plan for meeting that goal, in addition to time frames, how you will measure whether or not you are staying on track, while making sure it is realistic and attainable for you at this stage of your ministry.
Once you have answered the 4 W’s, determined your target audience, thought about your niche, and set some SMART goals for yourself and your ministry, then you are ready to move on to the next step!
Next Week’s Tip: Laying the Foundation/Part 3 – The Importance of Building Your Image