If you’ve ever touched any DIY home improvement project, you’ll know refurbishing used furniture is a process that requires serious commitment. Yet in the end, you might have a refurbished piece that possesses greater worth than the original.
It can be a similar discovery process in our goals in ministry. There are always goals to aim for in our departments and teams. Often, the goals we develop serve the larger vision of the church. We also have personal goals for our lives. These goals are worth pursuing with all diligence and effort.
Yet what is the ultimate goal you are aiming for? Could there be one of even greater worth?
I remember one of my first goals on church staff while overseeing local outreach initiatives: to rally the church to donate enough resources to feed 300 low-income families in our community. It was a noble goal and by the grace of God, we even exceeded it. In the afterglow of achieving what seemed like such a huge goal to me, I honestly imagined that we had reached the pinnacle of local outreach success!
As time passed the church grew and changed, and my role shifted along with it. With new roles come new goals, and I fully embraced the challenge of leading our groups and volunteers. Our aim was to rally the church to plug into community and grow deeper in the Word. When working with our volunteers, the goal was to build healthier teams and help people utilize their gifts to advance the kingdom of God.
Pursuing goals has never been difficult for me because I love working hard and leading people. I thrived in this new role as I had in my outreach position. Yet, along the way, I somehow lost sight of an even greater goal.
“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)” – Philippians 3:8 AMP
The apostle Paul expressed this well. While he possessed the perfect credentials in the flesh – circumcision, ancestry, linguistic skills – before God, it didn’t count for righteousness at all. In fact, he counted it all as a loss compared to the privilege of simply knowing Jesus.
In my pursuit of achieving certain ministry goals, I almost lost sight of this. Although we fed the hungry, I had almost forgotten Who was their Provider. While we encouraged people to be part of the community, I almost lost sight of Who sought relationship with them. Although people rallied to serve others, there was Someone who modeled servanthood first. This was Jesus.
I realized I needed to refocus my vision and realign my target. Achievement is not the aim of ministry; intimacy with Christ is the aim. Simply knowing Jesus. Understanding His heart. Becoming more like Him. Identifying myself as His daughter first and job function second. This was the greatest prize.
You may have heard the saying, “The goal is more important than the role.” This can be so valuable to learn in church staff life. There will always be a greater mission to serve beyond your job title or function. But what is your ultimate goal? Could there be one of surpassing worth? Decide to pursue the goal of intimacy with Jesus today.