by Dave Brock/ January 4, 2017
Do you remember the parable of the servants and the talents in Matthew 25:14-30? Three servants were each entrusted with different quantities of gold before the master departed on a long trip. Upon the master’s arrival, the first servant doubled his original five bags of gold and presented the master with 10 bags. The second servant gave his master four bags of gold instead of the original two, while the last servant presented the same single bag, proud that he did not lose it. The point of this parable is to use what we are given and use it well.
I believe this principle translates into how we grow, invest, and improve our ministries. For me, one of the most important ways we can do this is by creating goals and turning them into plans. Here are my three steps to improve upon your ministry with your goals and plans.
Without a goal you will not know what to reach or plan for. Create goals that are realistic to attain and then go one step further to achieve that goal. If your goals are something YOU can attain without God, then your reliance on Him is going to be minimal. By knowing what you can reach and then taking your goal to a place that only God can reach, you will spend much more time with Him throughout the rest of these steps. Do not forget to pray and seek God as you work toward this goal! After all, you just set a GOD-sized goal, which is bigger than a YOU-sized goal.
Once your ministry investment goals are written down, it is time to begin creating a timeline that contains different checkpoints (or milestones) to keep you on track in reaching them. I recommend breaking your goals down into four milestones. Go through each goal and determine what it will look like and what steps need to be taken to make it happen. Put these goals and the timelines for each goal in a place you will see often and remember to work toward.
The final step is to find somebody who will hold you accountable throughout this process. Maybe this person is your lead pastor, a mentor, or a friend. Share these goals and the timelines with this person, and ask him/her to check in on you to see how you are fulfilling each goal. Be sure to give your partner permission to speak to you honestly and to help you get back on track if you get off of the timeline you set for yourself.
These three steps are how I evaluate each year in order to prepare for the next. Find one or two areas you would like to see a difference in this upcoming season or year, set a goal and a timeline, and find somebody to hold you to that goal. You will be amazed to see the outcome—especially when it is a goal you can only reach with God.