As we approach a new year (with the hope that 2021 works out much better than 2020!), it is a good idea to take a look at your goals and hopes for the direction of your ministry. You may already have a developed set of vision and goals from years ago, but now is the time to examine where you are as a ministry or church and determine if any of the goals need to be reevaluated.
If you never thought about this, now is the time! God has specific goals for your church and your ministry and you need a plan for how you will meet those goals. Let’s define each term first so we have a better understanding of what these different words means.
These definitions come from Mark Oestricher, leader of The Youth Cartel (a youth ministry resource and training group).
Basically, everything is your vision: Where are we? Where are we going? How to get there?
Here are some suggestions to think about as you develop (or reimagine) the vision, mission, and goals for your ministry:
Give it over to God. You cannot know what God’s purpose is for your ministry if you don’t ask! Take some time to seek after the heart of God and hear where God is leading your ministry.
Think about your community. What are the needs in your area that are not being met? What is your church or ministry in a unique position to do or help with?
Include a team. Don’t make these decisions in a vacuum. Include people involved in your church and/or ministry. Include a diverse group of people that are leaders in your church. If you are working on goals and vision for a specific ministry include the people that are instrumental in that ministry. For instance, if you are working on goals for a youth ministry, include youth and parents in the setting of vision.
Write and revise. Start jotting down ideas and keep revisiting it for a while until it makes sense and your leadership can get on board.
Once you are done, make sure you bring the rest of the church on board. Bring them to council and other committees you think are necessary.
Once you have your vision, mission, and values set be sure you post them where others can see them and make them something you go back to throughout the year. Everything you do should fit within that vision
Once you have a clear vision and mission, start working on a plan for how your ministry will grow towards that. Our God is a God of order and not chaos, so our ministries and churches should be places that have a clear plan of where we are going and how God is going to take us there. May God lead you down this path as you discover the God given vision for your church!