Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the category “Planning”

Life Goals

I’ve been thinking through my life goals. One thought I have been asking myself has been, what things do I want to achieve before I die? I know that it is a huge question for many people. Some of the categories I am thinking through are:

-travel- places I want to visit
-dates- memories I want to make with Jen
– physical goals-this is health, fitness and long term care for my life
-foods- foods I have never experience that would be exciting to try.
-cultural- this the arts, dancing, and the like.
-spiritual goals- for me, this is leaving a spiritual legacy
-financial- this covers short term and long term, even thinking through passing on finances to my child and my grandchildren.
-education- growing intellectually
-family – thinking through family experiences, parenting, and spiritual growth

My favorite quote that goes well with life goals is by Dave Ramsey, “When you choose to live like no one else; one day; you will be like no one else.”

I know this is a lot to think through, but out of this thought, I have begun to experience things in my life that I would have never pursued unless I had challenged myself to think outside of myself. Sometimes we just exist to be what is offered to us in life, instead of pushing ourselves to experience new challenges.

This year instead of making a new years resolution for 2009, I’m asking myself, what life goals am I going to pursue this next year? So I leave you with the same question, what life goals are you going to pursue in 2009?

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Ministry Measurement

It has been said, “What gets measured, gets done.”  So that leads us to ask, what needs to be measured in our ministry?  What intentional steps do we need to take to be affective in our ministries?

First we must identify what needs to be measured as we cultivate a healthy church body?  Here are some areas that I believe that must be measured.  (There are many more areas that need to be thought through, but this is all based on your ministry core values.)

  1. Relevant Relationships
  2. Clear communication
  3. Teachings that equip believers to live out their faith
  4. Learning environment
  5. Ability to connect guest with the church body
  6. Mobilizing believers to reach out to the community
  7. Nurturing environment that offers support and care

Put together practical action steps that you can measure how well the identified areas are doing.  (Here are two examples)  (How can ministries within your body apply this measuring system within the ministry to keep the area affective?)

 Relevant relationships

          Are leaders throughout the church taking steps to engage in relationships?  If yes, how and to what existent do the relationship transcend outside of the church body?

          Do members within your church take initiative to meet new people and help guest connect with others within your church body?  If yes, how far do the relationships extend throughout the body?

          Are relationships under every ministry extremely strong, good, needs improvement, or needs a makeover?   (Measure this by communication that is done outside of the church service, and commodity among your leadership team.)

          Are relationships within your church body open to new relationships?  (Measure this by how well new relationships are being cultivated within your church body?)

 Clear communication

          Are listeners able to clearly communicate the main idea of what is being communicated?

          Are listeners initiating discussion with individuals from within and outside the church body? 

          Are listeners searching for ways to apply content of what is being communicated to their individual life and or to their family’s life?  (If yes, what ways are they appling what is being discussed?)

We also need to think through how regularly do you measure the identified areas?  Is it weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. 

Before any of the above can be done, you must know your organization core values, have a clear vision of what needs to take place and how do you develop the desired culture within your church body.  

Financial Matters

Spending Whatever you get

I don’t claim to be an expert in finances, but I have learned a little through the road of hard knox.  When I was growing up I was never given any guidance through saving, tithing, spending money or the use of credit cards.  In the beginning of my life I used my finances by tithing, and spending the rest on of my finances on life and recreation while accumulating credit card debt.  As I grew older I began to learn concepts and ideas that helped my future, that is, if I stick to my principles and not allow circumstances to direct the use of my money.  Many of us have heard the 10-10-80 rule….10% goes to tithes, 10% goes to yourself – savings or emergency account, 80% goes to household needs.  If a person and his family would stay on this track using these concepts, it would reaps great benefits to their life.

So what about the person who can’t use this concept without losing everything?  You know your house, car and yes not having the ability to eat anything except Raman Noodles.  I think we must begin with putting together a budget that your family can work with.  After you give your 10% in tithes what do you have left to spend?  Then assess if you are using wise spending habits, what can you put away in a savings account – which will be your emergency account.  I know in the past I have started my savings account with 2.5% of what I brought home.  Then as time went along and I have paid off debt I have been able to hold back 10%.  Now this is just a basic structure for us to use for your spending lifestyle.

Our first step before we go any further is having a clear vision, what would you like to see God do with your money?  Many of us are captured by our circumstances and don’t see past the present.  Instead, we need to look towards the future to fulfill the God given dreams that God has placed in our hearts.  Some thoughts we must work through are:  How would you and your family like to see your finances used?  Do you have any future goals?  Imagine if didn’t have any debt, what would you do with the finances that God has blessed you with?  I know many of us have talked jokingly about how we would use money if we were given a million dollars.  What if you had not debt besides your living expenses?  How would you use your money?

The next thing we must do is put together an action plan to eliminate debt.  Begin paying off credit cards, auto loans and any other debt that you may have accumulated.  One way that you can do this is by paying the minimum on all debt except for your lowest debt balance.  On that bill pay extra (Sometimes we must eliminate extra expenses to find extra money- assess what you may need to get rid of to pay extra on your debt.  This could be taking bag lunches to work, less Starbucks coffees, etc.) each month until that debt is paid off.  After that debt is paid off use the money from the paid debt to the next lowest debt that you have accumulated.  After paying that debt off use both moneies from the debt that is now paid off and put it towards your next lowest debt.  Keep this process going until all debt is paid off.  After all credit cards are paid off either get rid of the cards or only use them if you can pay them off each month. (Some individuals may have to get rid of the cards to pay them off.)  The best credit card princliple is only spend money that you have. 

Again, I am not an expert with financial matters, but use some of these principles to help further what God has already started in your life.  Check out True Life Church  for a financial pocast.

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