Wise pastors focus on one or two goals rather than a multiplicity of them,” said Dan Garland, director of pastoral ministries and church consulting at LifeWay Christian Resources. “Research demonstrates that (working on too) many goals limits achievement. We focus on less in order to do more.”
Garland was featured at the March 28 “The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX)” conference at Westwood Baptist Church, Alabaster. The conference was sponsored by LifeWay in partnership with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM).
Daniel Edmonds, state missionary responsible for SBOM’s Sunday School and discipleship efforts, said,
“We’re committed to disciple-making ministries and this training is another of the events we’re sponsoring for pastors and other staff.”
Garland said every pastor must be involved in strategic planning in his church.
“Strategic planning has been called vision-casting,” Garland said. “The pastor has to cast vision and then develop strategies for reaching goals. Of the two, executing strategies is the hardest task.”
He quoted Chicago Pastor Bill Hybels who often says, “vision leaks.”
“Pastors must talk constantly about a vision but they must also train leaders to help them. They can’t do the work of ministry alone,” Garland said. “In fact, according to Ephesians 4, the pastor’s main job is to equip believers for ministry. The pastor isn’t a ‘hired gun’ who is supposed to do all the work. He and his people work together in ministry.”
In his presentation Garland used concepts from the book, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution,” by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling.
“These writers talk about ‘the whirlwind,’” Garland said. “This is the stuff of daily life in the church that grabs our time and changes our schedules, such as sickness and death. Some have called these tasks ‘paying the rent,’ and they are important. But the pastor also has to set goals over and beyond the daily demands of ministry.”
McChesney, Covey and Huling suggest “wildly important goals” or “WIGS.” Garland said the pastor must devote at least 20 percent of his time meeting with leaders to establish WIGS.
“If we don’t continue to talk about goals, then they get lost in the whirlwind,” he said.
“President Kennedy said in May 1961 that the United States would put a man on the moon and bring him home safely within the decade,” Garland noted. “This goal was attainable, measurable, time-limited and specific. And we did it. Every goal should have a finish line.”
Pastors also should lead their churches in celebration at the finish line, he added.
“The church is a joyful place. And part of that joy is commending people for good work and celebrating what God is doing among us.”
For more information on disciple-making strategies, contact Daniel Edmonds at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.