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Goals - Monday Musing, June 28, 2021

Dear Church,

Goals. Each of the staff has received their annual performance evaluation within the past week. Their work during the past year was evaluated using goals that had been established last year, and new goals were set for the coming year. Why do we have goals anyway? For the employee, their efforts are directed or aimed at certain accomplishments. Sometimes we accomplish our goals, other times they are a work in progress, something to keep aiming toward.

If your church staff have established work goals, which will be the basis of their performance evaluation next year, I am wondering about goals for the congregation. Just what are the church’s goals anyway?

During the Candidating process that led to my being called as your pastor last year, you said that you wanted the church to grow. COVID-19 restrictions made for a challenging start of this ministry, but we never stopped worshipping or providing pastoral care. But is growth only about numbers? As our livestreaming has shown us, our congregation has grown, but we do not necessarily see that growth. Our in-person worshipping numbers are low (but growing), and our online viewership has grown. So when will we know we have accomplished this goal?

Goals? The prophet Micah sets the goal for all churches to emulate, writing: “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8). This is a tall order, one that requires a lot of effort, more than a simple to-do list, one and done, on to the next goal.

Establishing church goals is not exactly easy. Every one of us might have differing priorities; we can’t do everything! We only have a certain amount of resources; we only have so much energy, and our volunteer pool is not what it used to be.

Now that we are beginning to emerge from our COVID-19 cocoons, perhaps we should begin an intentional process of establishing church goals for the coming year. I invite you to reach out to members of the Cabinet to share your hopes, dreams, and prayers for The Federated Church of Orleans. Comments such as “this is what I want to help the church do next year” will be better received than “this is what you should do next year.”

The ministry of Jesus Christ is a journey, not a destination. So your active participation is critical in not only establishing the churches goals, but also accomplishing the tasks we set out to do together. May our goals include growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity” (2 Peter 3:18). See you in church!




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