How Do We Get There?
Part 3 of living missionally
So God has captured your heart with a powerful vision to live missionally and help change the world. He may even have brought you to a team of people who share your vision, but passion is not the only tool God gave you to achieve this goal.
As followers of Jesus, we’ve all been given a job to do. The same job He gave to the disciples:
- Love God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:37-39)
- Tell people about Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus sent His disciples with very little, but He did give them a plan. In fact having very little was part of the plan. He told them to be innocent as doves but shrewd as vipers (Matthew 10:16).
Without a plan, there are two likely outcomes: either you get distracted by life and don’t do anything or you try out ideas as they come to you. Even if some of the ideas succeed, without directly tying into a plan you can quickly get off track and despair of ever reaching your goal.
You may be a natural schemer and organizer. A team can really benefit from your input, and a great tool for the tactical-minded is the Strategic Planning Process.
Don’t be scared if that’s not you, though. A plan doesn’t have to be as elaborate as that sounds. A good plan simply asks, “What do we want to see happen, and how are we going to get there?”
The key is intentionality. When you look at something truly amazing (whether a manicured garden or our very own DNA), you have to recognize that “this didn’t just happen.”
If planning doesn’t come naturally to you, the best person to help you figure out a plan is a coach [5T05-Coach], someone who has been there before you or who at least has a more objective perspective.
Planning is one thing, but actually carrying it out can be difficult as well, especially as the busyness of life sets in. A book from Franklin Covey explains how you can stay on target with what’s most important:
- Focus on the vision or “desired outcome” you want to achieve. If you try to take on more than one or two big goals at a time, you won’t even accomplish the one or two. Be sure the vision is clear (“I want to get from x to y by such and such a time”) and has realistic steps that actually add up to the goal.
- Don’t confuse goals with desired outcomes. If your vision is to lose weight, your goals are diet and exercise. Commit to goals you can control that lead to the vision in a predictable way, leaving results to God.
- Meet often for a checkup where each team member reports on whether they fulfilled their last meeting’s commitments, reviews whether they are working toward the vision and makes new action steps for until next meeting.
Once you’ve got a plan, the next step is to figure out what you’ll need (skills, training and resources) to achieve the goals you’ve set.