PASTORS WITHOUT GOALS OR OBJECTIVES
The longer I live and the more I talk with pastors, the more confident I am that many of them are driving in a fog; if they are moving at all. We all know what it is like to try to drive in those blinding conditions. Sometimes fog lights help, but the fog line on the right side of the road may be the best guide. That line gives you some point of reference as to where you are.
It appears that pastors do not want a clearly defined purpose, or stated objectives for fear of failure. Perhaps they like being in the fog, that way no one can figure out where they are going. You would think they would be eager to establish these, and clarify them to their members.
What must a pastor do to get out of the fog and see clearly his purpose, objectives, and goals? First of all, he must have a stated purpose for the church. Can you put in a simple sentence why your church exists and what you believe God wants it to focus on; if not, you are still in the fog. An example of a purpose statement is that of Open Door Baptist church. “We exist to bring families from spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity.” That statement is clear and defines what the churches main business will be. Everything else they do moves the church toward that purpose.
The purpose statement declares why you exist.
Once the purpose is established, clearly stated objectives must be put in place. The purpose declares why you exist. The objectives state what actions are necessary to carry out your purpose. Pastors should have no more that 5-7 objectives. Objectives are not goals. They are simply the major areas you must focus on to support your purpose.
Once the objectives are in place, goals must be set in each one of them. Some goals may be set for what you want the church to be in five years. Goals must be broken down to 12, 6, 3, and 1-month segments. They must be on the pastor’s calendar, and on your desk, or they will be ignored.
Also, goals have a beginning and ending date. They must be measurable, attainable and have ownership. From your calendar, you know what you are to do each week and every day. If you have done it right, your calendar will become your boss. You no longer are in the fog. If things get a little fuzzy, get your calendar out and bring yourself up to date.
Why do pastors ignore this kind of planning? One, it requires you to think and work. It won’t allow you to fly by the seat of your pants. It holds you accountable. It shows where you are failing, and the bottom line is fear.
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Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.