At my work, I have been teaching tools and ways to assist in Mental Health. How to recognize it in yourself and others, how to find ways to self-recover and when to ask for help. One tool that we talk about are SMART goals. Maybe one of the reasons we as believers tend to lack in the mission of sharing our faith is the fact we do not have any set goals. Just like a New Years resolution if we just tell ourselves what we are going to do but do not put it on paper and make it a priority it is bound to be pushed aside. We then become locked in a prison of laziness never accomplishing anything.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
The saying goes ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. When you make choices on a whim of only verbalize them they are easily forgotten or adapted for ease. But when we take the time to formulate a plan or goal and write it down it makes it much easier to follow. The plan or goal can be amended but it takes more thought and direction when you have to amend something written. Let’s take the SMART goal idea and see how that could help us mark out a straight path when it comes to the mission we are called to do.
Specific – Being specific in what you want to do. I want to reach the lost is a great goal but there is no real definition of what or who you want to reach. If you can specify a person that would be amazing. I want to speak to Jim this week about Jesus. Or if you don’t have a particular person even, I will talk to one person this week about Jesus.
Measurable – How can I measure what I am doing? In this scenario it is quite simple, have I done it. Other cases it may be something you have to consider.
Attainable – Is this something that I can actually do? I make this goal to talk to Jim fully knowing that Jim is away all week. Or my schedule is so jammed packed that it would be impossible to make time. What do you need to do to make this happen? We must never make a goal of something we cannot get the result ourselves. To make a goal that Jim accept Christ by the end of the week is not attainable as this is not a choice we have to make. That choice is between Jim and God.
Realistic – Speaking to one individual a week about Jesus is a realistic goal. If you are a shy person making a goal to reach a larger number of people a week might be too lofty of a goal and the thought of doing it will set you up for failure. Ensure the goal you set for yourself is realistic about what you can manage. As you move forward and complete goals your level of realistic, your confidence grows you can change it up.
Time Bound – This one ensures that you give yourself an endpoint. I am going to invite three people to church by Friday. This pushes us to not push it off to a later date. We see the deadline and should work to meet it.
I do not think we can plan for every scenario and I would not expect to either. But if we start setting SMART goals every Sunday for our week I wonder how more effective we would be. Imagine a church where people shared their accomplished goals each Sunday, encouraging one another that they can do this. That the mission of saving the lost is possible, it is for them and they can do it. We need to remember to stay on the path God calls us to. If we keep walking off we get stuck and need to be freed over and over again. But preparing ourselves to stay on the path and make wise choices will provide us with a freedom like we have never experienced before in Christ.
Father, help us to mark our paths. If we need to set goals to accomplish this I pray that you guide us in making these goals ones we can accomplish. Provide us opportunities to share our faith at home, work and in our communities. We want to see your people reaching the lost. I want to reach the lost more and more. Use this message to encourage others to set goals and get out there sharing your love. Amen