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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Is Your Mission a Secret Mission?

What is Your Mission ?A mission is an important task. It involves action. Once you know the purpose, you can develop your mission. When figuring out your purpose, you ask, “Why do we exist?” When figuring out your mission, you ask, “What are you going to do to act on that purpose?”

What are we going to do?

Where purpose was fairly general, mission is starting to get more focused and specific. Again, the mission can be general to children’s ministry or specific to a ministry or program.

Here’s an example:

For God’s glory we are going to introduce kids to Jesus (evangelize); teach them to love God and to love people (encourage/disciple); and involve them in ministry using their skills, talents, and gifts (equip.)

Here’s the purpose statement that goes with this mission statement:

“We exist, for God’s glory, to introduce kids to Jesus and disciple them as Christ-followers that they might introduce the next generation to Jesus and make disciples of them.”

The above purpose statement says that the children’s ministry exists to introduce kids to Jesus and disciple them. The above example of a mission says how that purpose will be fulfilled. They will evangelize, disciple, and equip kids.

Not so Secret Mission

Your mission, like your purpose, needs to be shared with your children’s ministry team, your senior pastor, and your congregation.

It’s important that you know why you have a children’s ministry and what you are going to do in that ministry. But once you know, you need to get the word out and let others know as well.

When your volunteers know what the purpose and mission is, they have something to get behind. They know that they are serving in a ministry that matters; they aren’t just babysitting.

Having a mission motivates people. It gives them something to do – and that something is an important thing!

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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Do You Have a Purpose?

Question mark in the skyThe word purpose means the reason for which something exists. This is the starting point. Do you know why children’s ministry exists in your church? Do you know why Sunday School exists in your church? How about VBS or clubs?

Why do you exist?

This is the question you need to answer first. Your purpose will state why you have children’s ministry in your church. Most churches will have the same purpose and that’s okay. A purpose is more general in focus. For most churches, children’s ministry exists to introduce kids to Jesus and disciple them. This is the general purpose. The specifics of how it plays out are unique from church to church.

Here is an example of a purpose statement for a children’s ministry: “We exist, for God’s glory, to introduce kids to Jesus and disciple them as Christ-followers that they might introduce the next generation to Jesus and make disciples of them.”

Why is a Purpose Important?

A purpose is important because it defines your children’s ministry or program. Once you know what your ministry is, you can make decisions on what to include, how to run certain programs, and when to shut down certain programs. Knowing your purpose helps you choose curriculum and set the schedule and routine.

Having a purpose gives you a tool to evaluate. It lets you say ‘no’ to things that may be good but don’t fit your purpose.

A Purpose Can be General or Specific

A purpose statement can be written for the children’s ministry as a whole or it can be written for specific programs. For example, the Sunday School can have a purpose statement.

Once you know the purpose for your ministry, it’s time to move on to the mission of your ministry. What is mission and why it is important for children’s ministry is the topic of the next article in this series.

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

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

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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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