Tag Archive: goals

The Cost of ‘Arriving’ in Ministry

©iQoncept/ Dollar Photo Club

Are you a better minister this year than you were last year? What are you doing to ensure you are? I’ve heard leadership gurus ask, “Can you get just 5% better this year as a leader?”

In his book, Elevate, Rich Horwath talks about the lack of intentional improvement amongst leaders. I think his ideas also apply to ministry leaders.

Horwath explains how many professionals, especially athletes, spend 90% of their time practicing and only 10% performing in competition. Amongst business executives, that number is reversed. In fact, as Horwath points out, research from a recent HR study shows that senior executives receive the least amount of training of all company employees, and close to half of those received no training or development during the past year.

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How to keep your goals in front of you

Goals are great. Often though, they are only for the idealist. If you want to make them viable consistently, then you have to keep them in front of you.

Knowing that well-intentioned goals leak over time in the crucible of leadership, I developed a weekly discipline to keep them in front of me. Our church has an online database for keeping up with our goals that I simplified for my personal and weekly use. By pasting all the content into an Excel sheet, I can see my annual work and self-development goals in one quick glance. Five columns total: one for each goal and a column for each quarter’s progress.


I chose the most standardized day of my week to view my goals and mark progress. For me, it’s Sunday mornings at 8AM. It’s a time when I am least likely to be interrupted, or to have a meeting scheduled.  When an Outlook reminder goes off on my devices, I know to review the next two weeks on my calendar, review my annual goals and record my progress.

The goal portion takes me 5-7 minutes to update. Typically, only 1/3 of my goals require a progress update. These few minutes once a week ensure I’ aware of the progress I’ve made in completing my predetermined goals and it draws attention to where I need to focus to complete my goals.

If I chose my priorities each week or allowed them to be assigned to me by the “tyranny of the urgent”, I’d never get anything substantial or strategic done. I know that what I have listed as goals will help me be most effective for my church.

I review my calendar for the next two weeks because I often realize while reviewing my goals that I have some important work still to be done. I take this opportunity to create space on my calendar for that specific work, whether it is for studying, calling meetings or simply executing.

My goals leak still, but they can’t get too leaky in a week’s time.

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