Setting Strategic Direction

As I began working on this first Coaching Tip of 2014, I was thinking about all that normally happens in our ministries during the Spring semester. I thought about a checklist of sorts. Those seem to help some folks, but not everyone.

Then someone sent me a blog post from Great Leaders Serve by Mark Miller.

He suggested that creating a diverse talent pool will enhance our leadership impact and offered four ideas to consider.

  • Set the strategy. Leaders set strategic direction…
  • Cast a wide net. How widely do you recruit?…
  • Keep score. What gets measured, gets done…
  • Don’t lower your standards. Rather, I would suggest you raise them…

While he had a specific focus, his four point outline was just what I was thinking.

So let me suggest some easy steps in each of those four areas.

  • Set the strategy. Read and discuss as a team Stages of Movement Building: Four Aims. Consider where you currently are and what your next contexts might be.
  • Cast a wide net. Sow broadly. I think it is important to sow both on our existing campus or context and in new ones. But the sowing will look differently from context to context.
    • Do you have a way of gathering lots of contacts in your initial context? When I was on campus, we would conduct surveys at the beginning of the semester. But we also planned that our first weekly meeting of each month was evangelistic. That way students were in the habit of bringing their nonChristian friends. Rick James offers some great outlines and suggestions for having evangelistic weekly meetings.
    • In new contexts, you are looking for mature believers who have or can embody our DNA. You multiply yourself when you set someone loose on their own campus who owns evangelism and discipleship. Defining our Cause helps articulate our DNA to those you meet.
  • Keep score. I like to say, “People do what you inspect, not what you expect.” Miller is exactly right in saying what gets measured, gets done. Consider when you will put into your schedule those things you want to accomplish that are not being asked for in our success criteria.
  • Don’t lower your standards. A long time ago, Howard Hendricks said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” In previous tips, I have talked about the Learning Loop for Goal Setting and Updating. Teams find this useful as they think though and evaluate their goals.

Someone once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Let us trust God for exciting breakthroughs this year.

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