By Gary L. Mcintosh
Setting goals is an important part of ministry. If we push the limits today, we do what was impossible yesterday. However, if you are like many others who have set goals, you always seem to run into obstacles that keep you from reaching them.
Overcoming obstacles is just part of life. Sometimes the obstacles are real, while other times they are just our perceptions. One aspect of leadership is learning how to see the real obstacles early on so that a plan can be devised to overcome them.
To overcome obstacles in reaching our goals, we need to employ the Four M’s of Alignment.
The Four M’s of Alignment are the ingredients for overcoming barriers to our goals. Highly successful leaders employ these Four M’s with great consistency.
What is Alignment?
Alignment is the intentional organizing of a church’s practices and behaviors so that they are consistent with its stated goals, values, vision, and mission.
The biggest obstacle to seeing our church’s goals fulfilled is misalignment. A church can set wonderful goals, but if the church’s organization does not align in support of the goals, most will fail.
Thus, the main obstacle to reaching our goals is internal, rather than external.
The Four M’s
The first principle of alignment is Manpower. The manpower of a church must be deployed to fulfill’ its goals, values, vision, and mission. This is clearly an internal issue. One of the main obstacles to overcome in reaching goals is the lack of people support. For a goal to be accomplished it must have sufficient people devoting their talents and energies to seeing it fulfilled. When you set a goal you need to ask yourself, How can I make sure people are working toward the achievement of this goal? If you cannot align people with the goal, there is a high probability it will not be reached.
The second principle of alignment is Money. We do not like to talk about money too much in churches, but the reality is we cannot do much. without it. Not only the manpower but also the money of the church must be deployed to fulfill its goals, values, vision, and mission. This is where the budget of the church comes into play. A church must ask the question, Is the budget supporting the accomplishment of the church’s goals? Someone once remarked that we can tell our priorities by looking at our checkbooks. The same can be said for our church. What does our church’s checkbook say about its commitment to its goals, values, vision, and mission? When it comes to money, we must remember that the cost of doing nothing is greater than the cost of doing something.
The third principle of alignment is Management. This is the time issue. The management of the church’s calendar should be deployed to fulfill its goals, values, vision, and mission. People have only so much time to devote to ministry today. Thus, wise church leaders will carefully plan the church’s calendar so that it directs people toward fulfillment of its goals rather than away from them. Church leaders should ask the question, Does our calendar of events reflect our goals, values, vision, and mission? Think of it this way. If the average person only gives three hours to church activities beyond the Sunday worship service each week, then, we need to be certain the opportunities we offer point in the direction of our goals.
The fourth principle of alignment is Ministry of Prayer. A church’s ministry of prayer should be deployed to fulfill its goals, values, vision, and mission. Now, all churches pray, but most do not strategically pray in a way that aligns their prayer ministry with the goals of the church. For example, how many churches have prayer intercessors specifically aligned to pray for worship, or facilities, or youth, etc.? I think one of the reasons some churches do so well in reaching their goals is that they actually recruit people to pray specifically in line with their goals, values, vision, and mission.
If you wish to be more effective in reaching your goals, answer the following questions to align your resources more effectively.
The Manpower question: Is the manpower of our church deployed to fulfill our goals?
The Money Question: Is the money of our church deployed to fulfill our goals?
The Management Question: Is the schedule of our church deployed to fulfill our goals?
The Ministry of Prayer Question: Is the prayer of our church deployed to fulfill our goals?
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY GARY L. MCINTOSH, NOVEMBER 2001, VOLUME 13, ISSUE 11. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.