Establish Objectives - THEN


Now How Then
What is the present state of
   •   your ministry?
   •   your target group?
How do you go from now to then?

In other words, what activities / programs will help reach your goals?
What would you like to see existing at a specific time in the future?

In other words, what are your goals / objectives?


Then ... deals with aim setting

Establishing objectives or purpose should be the starting point in planning. Purpose directs our ministry efforts and motivates us to press on.

Moses turned his back on Egypt and its riches and identified with the Israelites because he had a purpose.

24By faith Moses, when he had grown up,
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,

25choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God
than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,

26considering the reproach of Christ greater riches
than the treasures of Egypt;
for he was looking to the reward.
Heb 11:24-26


Paul endured insults, persecutions and imprisonment because he had a purpose.

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself,
so that I may finish my course and the ministry
which I received from the Lord Jesus,
to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:24
You need to visualise what God would want you to accomplish in line with your organisation's mission. As a general guideline, do not deviate from your organisation's mission. Keep it in focus.

To many people, planning is merely filling a calendar with activities or programs. In some of my workshops where I teach the use of the above worksheet, participants listed activities such as a training institute under the "Then" column. Establishing objectives is not determining activities or programs to be executed for the year. What should be listed under the "Then" column is the state of affairs that should exist at a specific date e.g., 100 people to be trained by the end of 2007 in how to share the gospel with children.

What's the difference you may ask between these two things:
  1. A training institute by the end of 2007 to train 100 persons in how to share the gospel with children

  2. 100 persons to be trained by the end of 2007 in how to share the gospel with children
What's the difference?
A institute to train 100 100 persons to be trained
  1. An activity

  2. Method of achieving introduced into the objective

    You ran a training institute but only 90 participants came. Would you say that your objective was reached?

    Yes, you ran a training institute.
    No, 90 (not 100) were trained.
  1. A state of affairs

  2. Method(s) of achieving (the objective) not specified

    You ran a training institute but only 90 participants came. Would you say that your objective was reached?

    No because 90 (not 100) were trained.

    But if time permits, a small training workshop (or one-to-one training) may be organised with the goal of training 10 more.


Here are some criteria that your objectives should meet.

Achievable ... realistic yet faith stretching
Inspiring ... challenging your people to give of their best
Measurable ... quantifiable including scope1 and target date
Shared ... declaring your conviction in and commitment to them

1Designate who or what will be affected and in what ways they will be affected ... In the above objective, the scope defined is not training people how to share the gospel but training them to share the gospel with children. A modification of the objective might be training 100 children to share the gospel with other children.
There are many things that can be done and we need wisdom from the LORD to know what is needed and what is not.

Many plans are in a man's heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.
Prov 19:21
We all have a natural tendency to gravitate to what we are comfortable with; the challenge is to determine what needs to be done even when they are beyond our circle of confidence.



Introduction | Then: Establish Objectives | Now: Assess Present Situation | How: Determine Program | Main Page


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Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © 2005 by Alan S.L. Wong