What do you want? What do you REALLY want?

“I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

Many leaders, churches, organizations, and businesses set goals each year. The most popular time of the year occurs in January. Sometimes these goals are called New Year’s resolutions. How about you? What is it you really want? To lose weight, read more books, get that promotion at work, travel to a new destination, break a bad habit, save more money, pay down debt, spend more time with family and friends, live a healthier lifestyle?

After working with leaders in all types of organizations for many years, I have found two keys to actually achieving our goals. First, invest the time to clearly articulate the goal. When I was in the business world I taught a process called S.M.A.R.T. goals for years. When I transitioned into the church world I adjusted the acronym to S.M.A.R.T.E.R. and included the process in my book, Time Management for the Christian Leader. The second key to achieving goals is to share them with someone who can both hold you accountable and provide encouragement along the way.

While there are many words people use to form the acronym SMART, and I think they are all good, I use the following words to make up SMARTER: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-Oriented, Time-Based, Eternal, and Recorded. Let’s take a quick look at each of them.

Specific – You need to answer the question, why should this goal be accomplished? In my experience this is both the most important element of any goal AND the piece that gets skipped over the most. Resist the urge to move past this too fast. Christian comedian Michael Jr. has a great video explaining the power of “why” – click HERE to see it.

Measurable – This is the element which makes your goal quantifiable. How much? How many? While this is usually an easy area for most goals, there is a danger. The number is NOT the goal! It is only a measurement of the goal. However, when there is no “specific” or the “why” is unclear – then the number will often become the goal.

Actionable – Will the goal drive you to DO something? Locate a listing of action verbs and be sure there is at least one of them in all of your goals.

Results-Oriented – At least some of your goals each year should move you closer toward the vision God has for your life or your organization. No one needs more work. We need to be fruitful in our efforts.

Time-Based – Be sure there is a clear completion date in all of your goals. Not only will this help to create a sense of urgency, it will also allow you to break the goal down into smaller steps.

Eternal – Is there potential for this goal to advance the Kingdom of God? Is there room for God to work? While this might not apply to every goal you set, if you are a Christian or are setting goals for a church . . . I’d strongly suggest that at least some of your goals contain this element.

Recorded – Write your goals down. [electronic or on paper] Without a written record of the goal, it will tend to be vague and may even shift over time.

“Goals that are not written down are just wishes.” – Fitzhugh Dodson

Do you really want to achieve your goals? Find someone to hold you accountable!

Accountability is born when two or more people know about a commitment.

Working with a professional coach is a great way to add accountability for you individually or for your church or organization.

Here are some suggested next steps: tm-book-cover

  1. Contact Ken Willard to see about hosting a Time Management for the Christian Leader seminar at your church.
  2. Read Ken’s book
  3. Contact Ken about coaching you and/or your church as you set goals and to walk with you toward achieving those goals.
  4. Check out my church leadership online webinars at:

You don’t have to do it alone. Together we can achieve your goals!

Take a step today!


Strategic Ministry Planning


For many years as a child I played pool. There was a table in the basement of my grandparent’s home. It was a small room, the table was up against one wall and you had to open a door to make some shots. Most of the time I played alone, but as I got older I started to play more with others. One of the keys I learned playing pool was that your best chance of winning was to plan a shot or two ahead.

Strategic Ministry Planning is a process I use with churches to help them discern where God is calling them and begin to plan ahead.

For too many local churches the plan for the year is just a copy of last year. How about your church? Does the current calendar look a lot like last year’s? Are you setting and achieving meaningful goals each year? Is there excitement and a feeling of positivity in the ministry, or it is more a feeling of stagnation and just going through the motions?

Most churches have a rich, wonderful history. I’m sure the book of your church has some amazing chapters full of powerful, fruitful ministry. Our purpose is NOT to write a new book . . . but to discover and discern the next chapter. I really believe the best season of ministry for your church is just around the corner.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure to work with many churches and have developed a seminar on Strategic Ministry Planning designed to help pastors and church leaders on the journey.

During this interactive seminar we will:

  • Start with a Spiritual Formation as we pray and review key Bible verses.
  • Examine the Strategic Ministry Planning overview with a focus on five key components.
  • Review why Strategic Ministry Planning is needed in all churches and the seven areas of benefit for your ministry.
  • Discuss the importance of a prayer ministry in your church.
  • Prayer walk the area around your facility in order to begin the process of hearing from God.
  • Learn about Church Life cycles and the role of vision in starting a new life cycle.
  • 2016-smp-coverLearn the importance of embracing a theology of change by looking at the differences between form and function.
  • The majority of our time will be spent in the areas of:
    • Core Values – the constant, passionate, biblical core beliefs that drive the ministry.
    • Mission – the broad, biblical view of what the ministry is supposed to be doing.
    • Vision – a clear, challenging, compelling, picture of the future of the ministry as you believe it can and must be.
  • Since all of this will likely lead to some changes in your ministry, we will spend a few minutes on Managing Conflict with a focus on resolving conflict Biblically.
  • Walk through how to set SMARTER goals in your ministry. [Based on a chapter in my book, Time Management for the Christian Leader. Click HERE to order.]

Are you ready to start discerning God’s vision for your ministry?

Would you like to start planning further ahead and not just keep doing things the same way?

Here are some suggested next steps:

  1. Contact Ken Willard to see about hosting a seminar in your church.
  2. Visit Leadership4Transformation website to learn more.
  3. Order a Strategic Ministry Planning participant workbook from Ebay.
  4. Check out my church leadership online webinars at:

You don’t have to try and do it alone. Ken can walk with you and your church as he has with many other churches to provide coaching, training, encouragement, resources, and support along the way. Together we can do it!

Take a step in that direction today!


Creating a Discipleship Process


“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

After working with pastors and churches for many years as a coach and consultant, reading hundreds of books, and talking with a lot of others in my field . . . I feel confident in saying that the number one challenge churches of all sizes and types are facing today is the ability to grow disciples. When I say “grow disciples,” I’m talking about reaching new people who are not already connected to a church AND helping those who are already connected to our church take a step or two closer to Christ.

For a church to do this requires intentionality and a process (or system) of some type. I’ve never met a pastor or church who was against growing disciples. The first challenge is making this a priority high enough in the ministry to outweigh the week-to-week pull of everything else. It just does not happen by accident. The next challenge is in creating a process which works for your specific ministry. A process everyone can understand and will help you reach the goal of growing your disciples. This is where I can help out.

In the fall of 2017 Abingdon Press will be publishing a new book by Ken Willard and Mike Schreiner about creating a new discipleship process in a local church. For the past few months I have been facilitating seminars on this subject and they have been very well received by those in attendance. Click HERE to see a short video of a session I did in the New Mexico United Methodist Conference.

During this interactive seminar we will:

  • Start with a Spiritual Formation as we pray and review key Bible verses.
  • Review the signs of needing a focus on discipleship in a local church such as: turnover, ministry serving opportunities, inviting (evangelism), resource challenged.
  • Clearly define discipleship and look at what we are trying to accomplish through a new discipleship process.
  • Examine what a discipleship process is and is not.
  • Discover the four key areas required for a discipleship process.
  • Review discipleship process elements, catalyst disciplines, and discipleship targets.
  • Walk through the 12 Keys to Creating a Discipleship Process.
    1. Foundation of Prayer
    2. Assemble a Team
    3. Current State
    4. Mission & Target
    5. Research Other Churches
    6. Connections Process
    7. Discipleship Coaching
    8. Communications
    9. Membership & Leadership
    10. Launch
    11. Measure & Celebrate
    12. Review, Revise, Renew & Refresh
  • Have opportunities for you and your team to apply what you are learning by designing a plan to create a new discipleship process for your church.

Are you ready to throw your congregation a life preserver?

Are you ready to take the initiative and make discipleship a priority in your ministry?

Here are some suggested next steps:

  1. Contact Ken to see about hosting a seminar in your church.
  2. Visit Leadership4Transformation website to learn more.
  3. Order a Discipleship Process participant workbook from Ebay.
  4. Check out my church leadership online webinars at:

Together we can grow your ministry by growing disciples!

Take a step in that direction today!