Last month, I offered several tips on how to lead your team to accomplishing your 2015 goals. Next, I'd like to address the motivation factor. The beginning of a year provides some intrinsic motivation. We set goals, create resolutions, and suddenly your local gym is packed (for about a month, right?). The progress of time from January 1st tends to coincide with a diminishing amount of motivation. However, it doesn't have to work that way.
There's a factor here that can keep us all motivated regardless of the day on the calendar or the obstacles we face. That factor is our "why." The obvious "why" in the church world is to serve God, lead people to a relationship with Christ, and make disciples. That is the core "why." However, when it comes to getting and staying motivated to achieve goals that stretch your team, we need to be even more specific.
Let's say your goal is to add 50 new volunteers to Sunday services.
Is it to fill open spots and reduce the stress on your staff? Perhaps. Could it also be to help those fifty people connect to other volunteers so they can develop new friendships and grow in their relationship with Christ?
Perhaps you have a goal to host a special event for college students in your church.
Is it to provide a fun evening to help them distress and have socialize? Great! Or maybe the reason for this event is to equip them so they'll stay grounded in their faith and be able to respond to criticisms on campus with love and sound reasoning.
In order to stay motivated through long planning sessions, challenging circumstances, and juggling multiple tasks, we need to be crystal clear on why we're working towards a particular goal. If you haven't defined your "why" yet, talk with your team and find out why each goal is important to them. If no one on the team, including you, can clearly articulate the "why" it might be time to reevaluate that goal completely.
Once you have your "whys", write them down and post them somewhere visible to the team. I love how the last part of Habakkuk 2:2 is phrased, "Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.'" -Habakkuk 2:2 (emphasis mine). Writing down a vision requires us first to clearly define and articulate it. Then we can run, together, in the right direction, to achieve that vision.
Work with your team to define the "why" behind your goals, review these at weekly staff meetings and discuss how your tasks this week will help you accomplish each goal.
Achieving a vision isn't all lush, green valleys and quiet waters. Many times we deal with steep climbs, uneven terrain, and harsh winds. Help your team stay the course by defining the "why" and keeping that vision in front of them at all times.
So, what's your "why"? Post them in the comments and let's encourage one another as we work towards achieving the vision God placed on our hearts this year.