Freshwater is one church with multiple locations committed to making disciples in a healthy church environment. This blog is the sixth entry in a series of blogs focused on clarifying the vision culture at Freshwater. My goal is to bring absolute clarity to who Freshwater is, why we exist, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. If you missed any blogs in this series, go back and read the parts you missed.
Freshwater’s vision culture stems from six different sources that are aligned to support the goal of making disciples. These sources stem from the following questions:
1. Who are we? This question examines Freshwater’s core-beliefs.
2. Who are we? This question examines our core values.
3. Why does Freshwater exist? This is a question of purpose.
4. What will we do? This is a question of mission.
5. How will we do it? Strategies are the practical plans for making it happen.
6. Where/when are we going? This is a question of goals.
Think of it as a six-layer pyramid with our goals on top and our core-beliefs at the bottom anchoring everything we do. (A picture of this pyramid is attached on the bottom of this blog.) Today I am discussing question number six, where are we going and when are we going to get there?
It’s important to have goals. Goals should be strategic, measurable and time specific. For example, I have a goal of attending 75% of my kids events during the school year. When the school year ends in June, I reflect on how I did. This year I have a goal to exercise at least four times a week. At the end of the calendar year I will also reflect on this goal to see if I reached it.
Goals are really about reaching a destination. If we want to reach a certain destination, we must align our actions and behaviors to get us there. Our actions and behaviors reflect what we value, and what we value we do. Therefore, if you set a goal and value accomplishing it, your actions and behaviors must be aligned if you want to accomplish it.
Back in August of 2000, when Freshwater was barely one year old, I wrote a visionary article stating several ambitious ten year goals that was published in our monthly newsletter: “Can you imagine a place serving over 2000 people who are fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ? Can you imagine a place where everybody is important? Can you imagine a place that provides Christian day-care for over 200 children? Can you imagine a place where the presence of God is felt and biblical truths applied? Can you imagine a place that is known for uniting people for the cause of Christ? Can you imagine a place where you will always be more important than the wallet that you carry? You are imagining Freshwater in ten years. This dream is well under way to becoming reality and you are a part of it. Freshwater is committed to being a church where REAL people can go to find out more about God and how they can serve Him. Freshwater is committed to being a RELEVANT ministry where people are more important than programs. Freshwater is committed to planting churches. Ten years from now it is our goal to have planted at least three other churches that mirror the vision and purpose of Freshwater. Our goal is no small task. But with Jesus leading and everyone else following, we are well on our way to becoming a regional ministry center that impacts the lives of thousands of people. Can you imagine Freshwater in 10 years? Can you imagine the good things that God has in store for you? We can and are glad that you have chosen Freshwater as your church home” (written August 2000).
Looking back it might have bit of an ambitious goal. At the time the entire population of St. Bonifacius was 1,800 and our church had about 75 people attending. We even counted pregnant women as two. This month Freshwater will be 15 years old and although we didn’t reach all of our ten year goals, they gave us a target to aim for. We are still committed to being real, relevant, and relational. We still value people more than money. We still seek the presence of God and apply biblical truths. We are still known for uniting people in Christ. Currently, we do have about 1,000 people who attend every weekend, have over 60 kids in our Learning Center, and have launched more than 3 churches, and even added a second campus.
What are some of our existing goals? Freshwater has six clear short term goals that we are striving to reach by October of this year. Here are six church wide goals we have:
1. Because people are inviting their friends, we have an average attendance goal of 1,200 by October.
2. Because people are inviting their friends, we have a goal to see 100 people make first time decisions for Christ by October.
3. Because people are giving their life to Christ, we have a goal to baptize at least 50 people by October.
4. Because people are growing in their faith we have a goal to have 50% of all regular attending adults to participate in some type of small group by October.
5. Because people are committed to ministry, we have a goal to have at least 60% of all regular attenders involved in some type of ministry by October.
6. Because Freshwater is committed to helping people take the next step in their faith, we have a goal to have enough funds to be fully staffed by October.
These are six church wide goals that we have. Since we value these goals, our actions and behaviors support them. In order to reach our goals we are committed to learning as individuals and growing as a team. We might have to add another service or tweak an existing one. We will also add staff to support these goals. Ultimately, our goal is to make disciples and to do ministry that impacts the world. At the end of October, we will be able to figure out if we reached our goals or missed them. We will also set new goals for the coming year.
Every ministry should also have goals that they desire to accomplish. These goals should be discussed as a team. Strategies should be created and implemented to reach the goals. Clear goals help everyone stay focused and enjoy the process of accomplishing them. Thank you for your partnership in ministry. Together, we are making a difference and seeing lives changed. I look forward to working side by side with you to accomplish our goals.