It is hard to believe that Christmas is over and that in less than a week we will say good-bye to 2013. Many people, groups, and organizations are setting various goals for next year. Let me say at the outset that I believe that goal setting is good for people, families, and organizations. The late motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, had a great quote that said “if you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” Therefore, it is important to set specific, attainable, and time sensitive goals. Setting goals is also very helpful for a team or organization, because it provides a lens with which to look at everything through. If doing something will help reach or progress towards a stated goal, the team or organization should press forward. However, if doing something doesn’t push you towards a goal, then it may be a good thing, but not the right thing to do for that team or organization. The problem comes in when people, groups, teams, or organizations write down or say goals and then stop. To use another famous quote, “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” It is one thing to know where you are going, but if you don’t know how you are going to get there, then you are in trouble.
Every year at Westlake Baptist on the last Wednesday night of the year, I give what others have called the State of the Church. It is the time in which we look back at the previous year, but then through a Bible study we look forward to the next year. This year was no different. There were four goals for the church laid out in 2014. Knowing that Westlake Baptist exists to reach Franklin County for Christ, one person at a time, I began to pray towards where God desired us to move in 2014. The result was right there in Scripture (Acts 2:42-47 for those who care), but then the real work began of laying out how to get there. It was great that we could say we would launch Community Bible Groups (a small group strategy for WBC), or that we would do three outreach events, then to say we are going to do at least three community service projects, or finally that we would ask every family to give a little more sacrificially. Those four goals are attainable, they are specific, and they have a time frame attached to them. But then came the real work, how would we reach these goals? Countless numbers of hours and meetings have already happened and will continue to happen as we progress into the beginning of 2014. Everything we do as a church will be measured by our purpose statement of, “Westlake Baptist is reaching Franklin County for Christ, one person at a time.” We will measure things against the Scripture that we examined that night (referenced earlier in the post). This will make my life, the leadership, and our committees lives much simpler because we not only have goals, but we have the track to travel on that will get us there.
As I end this post, I want to encourage you to set some goals for 2014 and then sit down and write out how you are going to get there. As for me I have several goals for 2o14. Some are personal, some are family, some apply to my marriage, others apply to the church. One goal I will share is that I want to write here more. So many people have contacted me throughout the year and said how much they enjoy the blog. The truth is, I love to write about it. However, I need to be more disciplined at it. Although it may take a while, I plan on writing here a minimum of three times per week. Stay tuned and check back during the weeks ahead. Good luck to all of you in 2014 in achieving what you feel called to do. If you feel inclined to, I would encourage you to share your goals here in a comment, let’s hold each other accountable, and see where God leads us in 2014.
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him