When I was in retail management, we had a strategic plan for employees who wanted to advance through leadership positions. It was called “G.O.A.L.S.” and the acronym stands for: Growth – Opportunity – Advancement – Leadership – Success.
In the years since, I have used this acronym for quite a few different purposes, redefining it as needed. Today, let’s look at what G.O.A.L.S. would look like for ministry.
GROWTH – In previous articles we have addressed how numerical growth is not always a sign of success, especially in ministry. It may ensure we can pay our bills and provide the volunteers to get work done. The kind of growth we are looking for, as a ministry, should be spiritual growth. Have we witnessed those who are under our care take steps forward in their spiritual walk. Are they bearing good fruit? Do they seem more confident in the Word? Is their prayer life a higher priority?
OPPORTUNITY – There are two different types of opportunity that we can assess in our ministry work. The first, is the opportunity to serve. Have we made an effort to get to know the women in the church, and learn (or help her discover) their spiritual gifts? Are their opportunities being presented to the women to serve within the church (or under the church in the community)? The second, have we prepared our women for the opportunity to share the gospel? We should be taking the time to train our women on how to recognize when the opportunity is presenting itself, and the confidence in how to share the gospel with others.
ADVANCEMENT – To advance is to move forward, or move upward. In assessing our ministry, we need to evaluate if we are providing room for advancement. As a woman increases in her leadership ability, is there somewhere she can be placed to serve in that capacity? Has the leadership created an environment where our team members are not trapped in long term commitment to serve with us, but instead have the freedom in knowing that if God is calling them up/out of ministry and into another we support that advancement.
LEADERSHIP – Have we created a pathway for the identification, development, and deploying of women in leadership positions within our ministry, church, or organization? Leadership does not always look like a full time staff member with a title, leadership is one woman leading another woman in a mentoring relationship. Leadership is overseeing a ministry or service area. Leadership is taking on a task or project that the woman is gifted in. Leadership is training other leaders.
SUCCESS – Ministry leaders should have an ongoing conversation with their overseers (Pastor/Elder/Deacon) about how the church measures success. Additionally, the ministry itself should also have a measure for success. We need to be able to look at each event, activity, offering and determine if it is successful or not. This is how we know if an event should be offered again in the future, revamped, or scrapped completely. Just because it is a “good thing” doesn’t mean it is a “God thing”. We need to discern the difference, so that in all things we are working for His glory and His purpose.