Dream Big

Dream Big
By Group Publishing

Fall is approaching–the time when ministry vision is usually recast in churches. They say if you aim at nothing, you’ll always get what you’re aiming for. That applies to ministry as well, so you need to have goals to reach for. One way to make helpful and creative goals, along with forming a plan to reach them, is to hold a one-day leadership retreat to focus specifically to the future. Here’s one plan of action you can use for your goal-setting retreat:

Arrange a place away from the church for your retreat-such as someone’s home-that’s comfortable and gets you out of your usual surroundings. (It helps generate creativity.) Make sure all your ministry leaders come; you may need to plan to do this retreat on a Saturday if you have lay leaders heading ministries. Bring along large tablets (poster size) of paper, markers, tape, and an easel.

Begin by writing the ministry area you’d like to cover at the top of a large sheet of paper, one ministry per page. Tape the pages around the room in places where people can write on them. Depending on how many ministries you’re covering, give everyone 10 to 20 minutes to dream. Tell leaders to write down ideas for other ministry areas besides the one they’re involved with.

Instruct everyone to write down on the appropriate, pages what they’d like to see happen in the different ministries. Encourage them to include unusual, creative ideas. For now, don’t critique or criticize any ideas, just get as many down on the pages as you can
in the allotted amount of time.

When time is up, collect the sheets, display them on the easel so everyone can see, and go over them one at a time as a group. Have the person who wrote each idea explain in more detail if needed. If the group agrees it’s a good idea, brainstorm how to accomplish the goal and set deadlines for the steps.

Take notes about what’s discussed on the same page, or on a new one if you need more room, and let the leaders from each ministry area take the brainstorming sheets with them after the retreat.

This article “Dream Big” by Group Publishing is excerpted from Rev Magazine, 2008.