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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I was privileged to be part of an intriguing conversation last evening with our Co-missioned Pastor Initiative group about goal setting. One interesting part of that discussion had to do with the difference between goals and activities. It became clear that some activities are undertaken to achieve a goal and some are not. In either event, the activity is not the goal.

Lets say a congregation decides to hold a carwash in the church parking lot. The car wash is an activity, but not a goal. Then what is the goal? That depends on the purpose of holding the car wash. Perhaps the congregation has a goal to send the congregation’s youth on a life-changing mission trip or to IYF or SPEC. In that case, the carwash would be a fundraiser, and there would be a charge for washing each car. The carwash is an activity done with the purpose of achieving the goal to send the youth on the trip.

On the other hand, if the congregation has a goal “to be part of and interact with the local community”, they might decide to do a carwash as a way to meet the neighbours. In that case, they might decide to promote the event with signs and flyers advertizing, ‘FREE NEIGHBOURHOOD CAR WASH. Why would they do that? Because the goal was to meet and serve the neighbours, not to raise money from the neighbours. The sheer novelty of someone doing something for free is likely to arouse the curiosity of the neighbourhood, and people will come just to check it out. In other words, how you configure the activity depends on what the goal really is.

What if the congregation just does a carwash every spring because they have always had one? What is the goal? Probably there isn’t one. Maybe there was a goal originally, but nobody remembers what it was any more. In that case, the activity is more of a habit than anything else.

All of this makes me wonder if I have habits or activities I do with no particular goal in mind. If so, what are they, and why do I do them? I’ll have to pay attention to see! What about you? What about your congregation? Do you have goals? Do you have activities you do out of habit? It’s an intriguing question, isn’t it?

1 comment:

  1. This conversation was a "killer" for me. I spent most of the night articulating goals in my mind instead of sleeping!

    Never mind, there's enough energy in this CPI group to do it without sleep, at least for today.

    Stay tuned, more coming your way as this formation week continues.


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