How to Write SMART Goals

Children's Ministry Goals
Once you know your purpose, mission, and vision, it’s time to create some goals. Goals are the result that you are working towards; the aim.

There are some similarities here to vision, but goals are much more specific. The vision is a single sentence dream for your kids. Goals are the multiple, specific and measurable steps you are going to take to get there.

Goals can be general for children’s ministry or specific to a program. However, since you are creating steps to fulfill your vision, it’s better to be as specific as possible. You will want to create goals for each program you have in children’s ministry that will help you fulfill your vision.

How to write good goals – Be SMART!

Here is an example of a poorly written goal: “I’m going to get volunteers this year.” How will you know when you have achieved your goal? Did you set a time limit on accomplishing this goal? What action are you going to take to get it done? How will you determine that it has been completed? This goal example can be better written if the following criteria are used.

Specific

A specific goal is clear-cut. It is precise and definite. It is simply written and clearly defines what you are going to do. It is precise, not general.

Measurable

A measurable goal is capable of being measured. You can determine if it has been accomplished. How will you know your goal has been completed?

Actionable

An actionable goal outlines the steps you will take to complete the goal. An actionable goal will have verbs in it like telephone, ask, or teach.

Realistic

A realistic goal is one that can be done. It might be difficult but it is something that is possible to accomplish. It’s practical in terms of time, opportunity, budget, and resources.

Timely

A timely goal has an end date. A timely goal will be accomplished by a certain time. It is a deadline – a time by which you want to have achieved your goal.

A SMART Goal

So instead of “I’m going to get volunteers this year,” a smart goal would look like this, “On August 19th I am going to telephone 15 prospective volunteers and ask them to serve in the nursery.”

This new goal is specific because it clearly states who is going to do it, when they are going to do it and what it is they are going to do (specific words or phrases in this goal are August 19th, 15 prospective volunteers, serve in the nursery.)

This goal is measurable because it will be completed when 15 calls to prospective volunteers have been made.

It is actionable because the actions taken are clearly stated. You are going to telephone and ask.

It is realistic because it is easily possible to call 15 people in one day.

And finally, it is timely because a date is given. You will know on August 20th whether this goal has been met or not.

Goal Writing Tips

When writing goals avoid words like try, could, and by the end of the year. These words aren’t specific or measurable, or timely.

A well-written goal says what you are going to do and how you are going to do it.

For every goal you write, evaluate it based on these criteria. Is it specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely?

These may seem daunting at first, but as you accustom yourself to writing goals this way, you will find it easier and easier. You will also quickly see the wisdom in well-written goals. You will find you need to write new ones as old ones are accomplished!

Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series:

Introduction – Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How’s Your Vision?

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How’s Your Vision?

children's ministry visionOnce you have figured out your purpose and your mission, it’s time to move onto your vision. I have already written a series on vision in children’s ministry.

 

 

 

Here are the links to that series:

Why Do You Need a Vision for Your Children’s Ministry?

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry? Part 1 – Brainstorming

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry Part 2 – Create a Single Sentence Vision Statement

How Do You Develop a Vision Statement for Your Children’s Ministry Part 3 – Get the Word Out

 

Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series:

Introduction – Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How to Write SMART Goals

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Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Purpose Mission VisionI can understand the temptation to jump right in. You are the new children’s ministry leader at your church or maybe you are the Sunday School Superintendent or maybe the pastor has asked to you take on the VBS program at your church. Whatever it is, the temptation is to jump right in and get to the fun stuff. But when you give in to that temptation, you don’t take time to think about why you are running this program or what you hope to accomplish.

Maybe you have been leading children’s ministry in your church for a while. Maybe you have been doing VBS for years. Maybe you have been teaching Sunday School for as long as you can remember. You’re plugging along. Things are going fine, but when you stop to think about it, you are not really getting anywhere. Chances are you know the purpose and mission of your ministry, even if it’s not written down anywhere. But maybe you don’t have a vision for that ministry or maybe you haven’t fleshed out your vision. Maybe you haven’t created any goals that will help you accomplish big things in your ministry.

Purpose, Mission, Vision, Goals

Children’s ministry is so important that any leader needs to take the time to start at the beginning and outline the purpose, mission, vision, and goals for the ministry (no matter how long they’ve been at it!)

Some of you might be groaning, but this isn’t just boring paperwork. This is the fun stuff! This is where you get to dream big for the ministry you are involved with and more importantly for the kids you are serving.

This is where you get to answer big questions like “Why does this ministry exist?” and “What are we going to do?” and “How are we going to get there?”

For any ministry you are involved with, whether you are leading or volunteering, it’s important to know why you are doing it and what you hope to accomplish. This is where you get to figure out the big picture and help others see the big picture.

In this series, I’m going to explain what purpose, mission, vision, and goals are and why they are important for your ministry.
The series will start with purpose. The big question to ask when figuring out purpose is “Why does this ministry exist?” Next, we’ll move onto mission and ask, “What are we going to do?” Third is vision, “How are we going to get there?” And finally, I’m going to help you write some goals that will help you fulfill your purpose and make your vision a reality.

Purpose, Mission, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry Series

Introduction – Purpose, Vision, and Goals in Children’s Ministry

Do You Have a Purpose?

Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

How’s Your Vision?

How to Write SMART Goals

 

 

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How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part 3 – Get the Word Out

You have finished brainstorming and created a single sentence vision statement. The last step in this vision-creating series is to make sure that everyone knows the vision for children’s ministry in your church.

You want everyone in children’s ministry to know and champion this vision. Gather your volunteers for a training day. Tell them how you arrived at your vision. Then offer them a tangible reminder of it. Creating bookmarks with the vision statement on them is a good idea. Encourage your volunteers to keep their bookmarks in their Bibles or curriculum binders. Encourage them to use the vision as they pray for their kids. It is also very important to tell your volunteers how they will be a vital part of seeing this vision fulfilled in the lives of the children in your church.

You also want the pastor and parents and other members of your congregation to know it as well. Knowing the vision statement shows them how to begin praying for the children of your church. It also shows them the value of children’s ministry. Arrange a meeting with the pastor and maybe even the board of elders or deacons. Present the vision to them.

Ideas for spreading the word about your vision include:

  • on your church website
  • on bookmarks
  • on posters
  • on letters
  • on registration forms
  • your email signature

Take some time at the end of your brainstorming day to think of ways of getting the word out creatively in your church community. Make it very visible. The goal is to have everyone be able to share the vision statement if asked.

 

A vision statement is a dream of what you want the kids in your ministry to be like once they leave. But it should be an attainable dream. You should be able to see it working out in the lives of the kids you minister to.

Dream big for your kids and then do all you can to fulfill that vision!

 

How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.

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How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part 2 – Create a single-sentence vision statement.

You have completed your brainstorming session and you have the bones of your vision statement. Now it’s time to write the vision statement for children’s ministry in your church.

It’s your job to take the things you have highlighted and/or the larger categories you have created and write in a single sentence. This could take a while to get it down to one sentence, but work at it. Making your vision statement a single sentence is important. A single sentence forces you to focus your dreams. Remember, you are making a target that all your children’s ministry volunteers are going to aim at. Make it focused.

If your vision statement is to be effective, it needs to be easily recognizable and easily passed on. A single sentence will help you to accomplish this.

When writing the vision statement it is important to do so from the children’s perspective. Ultimately, it won’t be a statement about your children’s ministry, but about the kids in your ministry. An example of a vision statement written this way is, “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions.” Beginning the sentence with “Kids who” helps to keep you focused on writing it from the child’s perspective.

So, on your whiteboard or flipchart write, “Kids who” and look to your brainstorming notes to complete the sentence.

Once you have your vision statement written in a single sentence from the children’s perspective, it’s time to evaluate it.

Evaluate your vision statement by the qualities of a good vision statement.

Inspiring

  • A good vision statement is inspiring for the volunteers in your children’s ministry. Does your vision statement spur your volunteers on? Does it get them excited about what God can do in the lives of your kids?

Memorable

  • A good vision statement is memorable. It is easy to remember because it is a single sentence, focused, and relevant to your kids, your volunteers, and your church.

Rooted in Scripture

  • A good vision statement is rooted in Scripture. God’s Word is our final authority. Any vision for our kids should be based on the truth of God’s Word and express a love for the Word of God. “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

In line with the larger vision of your church

  • Children’s ministry is part of the larger ministry of your church. Your vision for your kids needs to be in line with the larger vision of your church. If your church has a vision statement, make sure that you and your team know it and write a vision statement that supports it. It’s okay if it’s not the same, but it needs to be heading in the same direction. For example, this kids ministry vision statement, “Kids who passionately love God and live out their faith in words and actions,” is in line with the vision statement of the church, “For God’s glory we will have maximum impact in our world by seeing lives changed in their depth of love for God and for people.” It’s not the same, but it is aiming for a similar target.

In the next post of this vision-creating series I will talk about the importance of getting the word out about your children’s ministry vision.

 

How do you develop a vision statement for your children’s ministry? Part one – Brainstorm, Part two – Create a single sentence vision statement, Part three – Get the word out.

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