Goals are numeric measurements attached to each value or defining objective. They describe a preferred ministry outcome. Numeric goals include anything that measures your vision-aligned objectives:
- Worship, group, mobilization and participation goals
- Spiritual growth, faith lifestyle and outcome-based goals
- Evangelism goals—praying, relationships, invites and sharing
- Baptisms or professions of faith
- Per capita giving or stewardship growth goals
- Leader development goals
- Vision-aligned goals
Lead vs. Lag
Every goal needs a measuring stick, but not just any measuring stick. Centering your goal on the right measure is one of the most important things you can do to improve execution.
What’s the difference between lead and lag measures? Here’s a quick definition:
- Lead Measure – Something that leads to the goal
- Lag Measure – Something that measures the goal
The key idea is to take weekly stock of several lead measures, then show the lag measure they impact. Over time, positive movement in the lead measures should impact the lag measure in the right direction (attendance, participation, etc.).
Take a look at some lead and lag measure examples:
- Lead Measure – Invite Cards Distributed
- Lag Measure – Worship Attendance
- Lead Measure – New Groups Started
- Lag Measure – Groups Attendance
- Lead Measure – New People Mobilized
- Lag Measure – Missions Participation
- Lead Measure – Gospel Conversations
- Lag Measure – Baptisms
Many goals fail because they aren’t clear, don’t seem important or aren’t likely to happen when you need them to. The solution is to use SMART criteria to make goal setting, well, smarter.
SMART goals use a mnemonic acronym to guide the setting of objectives:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Achievable
- R = Relevant
- T = Time-Bound
The first use of SMART criteria to describe goal-setting occured in the November 1981 issue of Management Review in George Doran’s article, “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.”
Doran wrote that objectives should be:
- Specific – They should target a specific area for improvement. Exactly what do you want to accomplish? Who, what, when and where?
- Measurable – They should quantify or suggest an indicator of progress. How will you track your progress? How much and how many?
- Achievable – They should aim for a realistically achievable result. Do you have what you need to achieve your goal? Is your goal too challenging? Is it too easy?
- Relevant – They should be goals that matter. Does your goal matter to your supervisor, team and organization? Is your goal aligned with organizational vision and values?
- Time-Bound – They should specify when the result can be achieved. When will you achieve your goal? What is your time limit?
How do your ministry goals stack up against the SMART standard?
Make your goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It’s a fact: SMART goals make goal setting smarter.
“SMART Criteria,” Accessed August 20, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria.