Where do you want to be in 10 years? 5 years? 1 year? Be specific: vocation, financial condition, spiritual development, family. Do you have a plan for getting there?
Many people/organizations set goals at the beginning of the year. It’s often a good time to ask “Where does God want me to go?” and “How do I get there?” As the old saying goes, ‘a dream without a plan is only a wish.’ You need a road map that will help take you from where you are presently to where you need to be.
The Bible talks a lot about the importance of planning, especially in the book of Proverbs. (Proverbs 20:18; 15:22; 16:3; 21:5) King Solomon had a goal to build a magnificent temple for the worship of God. But he also knew the temple would not build itself so he made a strategic plan. He gathered resources, organized people, designed the facility, set a time to begin and completed the project. (1 Kings 5:5-6; 2 Chronicles 2:2, 3:2-3, 5:1) Moses had a goal of getting people out of Egypt. Joshua had a goal of getting people into Canaan. Jesus had a goal of paying for our sins, the apostle Paul had a goal of “winning the prize.”
Some well-meaning Christians will object because they believe planning presumes upon the dependence on and sovereignty of the Lord. They will usually cite James 4:13-15. A closer look at this passage shows that James is not warning against planning, but planning without God. Any Christ follower should know that every plan we make or goal we establish hinges on the sovereignty of God. Note Solomon’s counsel in Proverbs 19:21; 21:31.
Here are a few things to consider as you make an organizational/personal strategic plan. (You can visit this link to see Biltmore’s 2014 Strategic Intentions and Ministry Expectations.)
1. Establish your umbrella goal
– This answers the question of “Why do I exist?” The obvious general answer to that question for the Christ follower is summarized in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Another person says, “to know Christ and make Him known.”
2. Pray over some objectives
– An objective helps to answer “What does the Lord want me to DO. Pray and ask Him, “What do You want us/me to DO?”
– Physical: I want to lose 25 lbs.
– Spiritual: I want to grow in my relationship with God.
– Vocational/educational: I want to improve my skills.
– Financial: I want to have enough money to retire comfortably.
– Family: I want to spend more time with my children.
3. Set some concrete goals
A goal is simply an aim, purpose or sense of direction toward which you focus your energy & effort. Make the goals: specific, measurable and timed. Let’s take some of the above categories
– Spiritual: I want to read a chapter of the Bible each day, beginning tomorrow.
– Vocational: I want to get a Masters of Divinity. I’ll start this fall and finish in 3 years.
– Family: I want to coach my son’s football team.
– Financial: I want to save $2,000 to pay for the summer vacation with cash.
Retail department store founder J.C. Penney said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Have a great week!