You’ve heard this old question before, right? The answer is “one bite at a time!” But who would ever think of eating an elephant?! We treat some BHAG’s the same way, we would just never think of tackling them. The acronym BHAG was coined at an early Willow Creek Leadership Summit and stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal!
Many leaders do not even bother to dream big. They have enough trouble accomplishing today’s tasks, let alone think about large possibilities in the future. Other leaders consider grand goals and lofty plans, but they never pull the trigger on them because they are just too big to wrap their minds around in one sitting.
The “one bite at a time” concept is exactly the right approach to take when tackling a large and lofty goal – that ostentatious objective! If we are to accomplish anything significant in our lives and ministries for God, we will do so in small increments, that add up over time to a great achievement.
Think of it this way:
1. Write down the goal you would like to reach, and please be specific.
2. Now, to navigate from where you are now, to your desired goal, break it down into no more than eight major objectives. These would be the milestones you would have to reach, the tasks you would have to accomplish, or the projects you would have to complete, in order to get to your final goal.
3. In order, list the things you would have to do to get to each goal, reach each milestone, or complete each project.
4. Estimate (and always over estimate) the amount of time each milestone, task, or project would take to achieve.
5. Based on your time estimate, add them up and set a date deadline to reach your goal.
6. Then, just get started on the first task, project, or milestone and work through them one by one, tweaking and adjusting as you go along, until you complete the final task or project, and reach that last milestone, and your goal is achieved.
Perseverance and diligence, working daily, over many days will carry you to your goal. It may take you weeks, months, or years… so get started this week!
What is it that you need to accomplish? Go through the steps above and lay out a plan. Spend some time imagining yourself accomplish it. Spend a lot of time in prayer. Seek the counsel of others. Then, get started! You know, at some point in your life, if you have been waiting to achieve that grand goal, you just have to start!
Jon Acuff wrote a book titled Start. Check it out here on Amazon and you can buy a Kindle edition for only $9.99 here – it’s a great book! Read the reviews on Amazon – very good reviews.
Almost five years ago I laid out a path for myself to go back to Seminary. After 25 years in ministry I wanted to get my M.Div., my Master of Divinity degree. I had a good four year Bible College degree, but I needed more after all those years.
I did all the tasks necessary, and found a Seminary, applied, and got accepted. It took me about eighteen more months to pull the trigger, and at 47 I started, knowing if I started then, I would be glad at age 51 to be done. Now, three years after I started, I am only a year away from completion! The education has been so encouraging and helpful to me, and through me to my church family. You know how I’ve done it? Just two courses at a time. I am so glad I started three years ago!
On Wednesday’s 200churches Podcast, we are joined in our conversation by Steve Spear, a pastor who is running 3,000 miles across the country to raise $1,500,000 to equip an African community of 30,000 people with clean water for life. You can check out Steve’s story here, before you listen to the podcast on Wednesday. Steve is a guy who is eating the elephant one bite at a time. Running one step at a time, literally ACROSS THE UNITED STATES! No shortcuts.
As a 200church pastor, don’t sell yourself short, you can accomplish great things, one day at a time, for God, for God’s people, and for your community! Join us on Wednesday for Episode 22 of the 200churches Podcast.
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