Saturday, July 02, 2016

Seminary PL13: Evaluating Progress/Resetting Goals

This is the tenth and final post on strategic planning in the Pastoral Leadership part of my Seminary in a Nutshell series. See the bottom of this post for the entire leadership series thus far.
    1. It may seem a matter of common sense, but after you have set goals as a church or organization, you should be sure to revisit those goals at the appropriate time to evaluate what kind of progress you are making. Then you should adjust accordingly.

    So in the goal-setting stage, you laid out some short term goals (e.g., six-months or less), some medium range goals (a year, three years), and some long term goals (five years, ten years). When you get to the deadline of each goal, it is time to stop and take stock. Did you meet the goal? Are you making appropriate progress toward your longer term goals? If not, what adjustments need to be made.

    Again, this is common sense, but some of us are personalities that love to set goals but are not so big on reaching them or evaluating our progress.

    2. Remember, SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. There is a reason for each one of these characteristics. For example, if you cannot tell whether you have met your goal or are making progress toward it, perhaps you did not set a measurable goal. You may need to re-adjust it so that it is measurable.

    If you set goals that were vague rather than specific, your sense of reaching it may be vague as well. If so, then reformulate your goals so that they are more specific. Also, you cannot anticipate every circumstance that will arise, and sometimes you may not know what is truly realistic or achievable. If your goals prove not to be realistic, then reset them accordingly.

    On the other hand, perhaps you will happily find that your goals were much easier to reach than you thought. Perhaps you played it safe with your goals and find that you have reached them much sooner than you planned. Great! Reset them and make them a little more challenging the second time.

    3. If your church or organization is enthusiastic about its vision and goals, there's a good chance you will be taking your temperature constantly. How far toward the goal are we? If you are not excited about the goal, that speaks to a potential problem as well. Was there not real buy-in to the goals?

    Reaching goals can build enthusiasm to move toward the next one's. If you meet a goal, make sure that the congregation knows it and celebrates it. Then move on to the next.

    Here endeth strategic planning.

    Next Week: Pastor as Leader 14: Leadership Pitfalls

    The first twelve were:

    Leadership in General
    Strategic Planning

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