Executing the Ministry Plan
How long have you been working towards your goals?
It’s time for a new ministry year. Your plan is in place. Your goals are established, and you’re ready to see change take place. Goal setting can energize and direct our ministries forward, but many times we set goals and don’t achieve them. Consider your ministry goals for this last year. Which goals did you meet? Which goals fell by the wayside? Execution is the ability to get things done; it’s the difference between having goals and actually reaching them.
A missionary at my church once talked about his work in Africa. He said, “In the next six months, we will have reached our goals, and we will be looking for a new ministry.” I had never heard that from a missionary before. Most missionaries I knew worked their entire lives but never saw their work brought to completion. This guy had my interest!
“How long have you been working towards your goals?” I asked. He replied, “Twenty years.” I was encouraged by his perseverance and impressed by his execution of his ministry goals.
Three ideas have helped me greatly as I’ve sought to improve my own execution.
It takes courage to deal with the problems we face, but when problems are resolved, it creates high performance. Often I am too worried about how others will feel if I correct them or ask more of them. The truth is that people want to follow a leader that is willing to make hard decisions and do whatever it takes to move the team forward. When hard decisions are made, followers develop trust and faith in the commitment of their leader.
I execute best when I’m focused and have things in order. I keep a list of the next 50 things I want to do in my ministry. I check that list weekly, prioritize the list based on my opportunities, subtract and add as needed, and allow for God to open and close doors as He sees fit. There is nothing like crossing an item off my list and knowing that I am doing what God has placed in my heart to do.
I have also come to understand that execution requires faith on my part. I need to have faith that I am the leader God has placed in this ministry and that He will lead me, and I have to trust that the same is true for my staff. Faith helps me when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have to rely on the basics. I know if I am committed to executing my plan, the results will follow. The hard part is sticking to the plan even when I cannot see the finish line.
The more I focus on execution, the more I find that several of my ministry plans were flawed from the beginning. Take a hard look at your goals and ask yourself, “Can I reach these goals using the plans I have?” You may find, as I often have, that the answer is “no”. Make this year about reaching the goals you’ve set. Take courage, stay focused, and have faith.
About the Author
Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners who never leave their side. Doug grew up in… Read More