“Without specific team goals, team members become confused and revert only to what they like to do or want to do. Goals that motivate always contain a ‘stretch element’ to them. In other words, they go beyond what you did last year and cannot be accomplished by simply plugging in last year’s methods and strategies. Most staff would rather fail at attempting something great than to succeed at something mediocre that just feels like failure.”
As a new staff, I always found the setting of our team goals to be rather arbitrary:
Team Leader: “OK, we had 50 coming to Cru last year, what should our goal be this year team?”
Staff 1: “I think we’ll have 75 this year”
Staff 2: “Why?”
Staff 1: “I don’t know – because 75 is a little more than 50?”
Staff 2: “Where’s your faith? Let’s add a zero! We’re going to have 500 this year!”
Staff 1: “You’re an idiot”
Staff 2: “No, I have faith”
Team Leader: “Ok, 60 it is.”
Staff 3 (me) texts to staff 4: “SMH” (that is, if we’d had cell phones back then)
So how in the world do you set goals that are full of faith AND realistic?
We’ve found the steps Jim Sylvester lays out to be very helpful. We rely VERY heavily on this model for our yearly goals. And it’s uncanny how accurate it has been for us, year after year.
At the end of his (119 page!) article Principles God Honors, Jim lays out a Step By Step Growth of a Movement.
Jim’s proven timeline has helped us set incredibly faith-stretching goals that are based in reality.
I’ll list out the years (with his descriptions of each year) below. A couple questions to ask yourself/your team:
- What year are we currently in?
- What should be our goals for this year be?
- What will it take to make those goals a reality?
I would love to know – how does your team determine numerical goals?
Jim Sylvester’s Step by Step Growth of a Movement
His caveat: “This is merely a model from our campus at Ohio State. This is to he adapted to each unique campus. On a campus where Greeks are the most dominant social group, one would target Freshman Greeks very heavily. On our campus we found the dorms and RAs as the dominant social group, so we started there.”
- Staff Team – Make sure staff team is on board in areas of ministry philosophy and commitment level.
- Commitment – make sure staff are using their time wisely (i.e. 35 “hot hours”)
- Reality is my friend. Time is my friend.
- Working with students is messy. Since we are committed to working with students, we are willing to live with messy.
- Create a socially sharp atmosphere. Seek to bring leaders and other socially sharp individuals into the movement. Socially sharp individuals visible at meetings; make the atmosphere attractive and comfortable with quality activities. There has to be an atmosphere where men feel comfortable – AIA emphasis etc.
Year Three – Foundational Freshmen Class
- These will be the leaders of the movement in 2-3 years. The entire movement is focused on the Freshman class.
- Freshmen class of 80
- This takes 120 Freshmen entering Freshmen studies in September
- The gospel shared individually with about 1,500 Freshmen.
- In the first 4 weeks, staff share Christ with 50 new students.
- A student planned and student run movement
Year Four – Movement Maker Class
- 80 freshmen who will return 40 strong as sophomores
- 120 or more students attending weekly meeting.
- Send 25 students on summer projects. (High percent from foundational class.)
Year Five – The Over-the-Hill class
- 100 freshmen in discovery groups by the end of the year.
- Cru meeting over 200.
- Presence in all the dorms.
- Movements starting in the Geek system, athletes, band, international students, and ethnic minorities.
- 40 Students going on summer projects.
- 40 + Students leading successful small groups.
- Expansion campuses a major focus; they feel absolutely a part of the whole.
- Hearts that pray – a prayer movement in place.
- Ownership and love for the partnership country.
- Students want and value training. 60-80 students come to training.
- Student ownership runs deep.
- Win a Freshman class of 160
- 300 people at Cru meeting.
- 300 students involved in small group Bible studies.
- Daily Prayer drawing 25 students; as large as 50 for Praise God Its Friday.
- 50 students going on summer projects.
- Students involved from every segment of campus.
- Expansion campuses now flourishing, we’re now on 1 campus for every two of our staff.
- A rich love for Jesus permeates movement.
- Students are sacrificial for the cause.
- Movement has a heart for laborers.
- Praying for awakening and God’s hand in our movement.
- Burdened for the lost and the needs of the world.
- Model student leaders and spokesmen.
- Students are captured by the campus vision & our potential for impacting the world.
- 400 + at Cru.
- 400 students in small groups.
- Win a freshmen class that will return 100 involved sophomores (i.e. 200 freshmen in groups in April)
- 60+ students going on summer projects stateside and worldwide.
- Our expansion campuses have movements of over 50 and feel a part of the whole.
- 10 seniors graduate and come on our staff or go on stint, 5 other students go into full-time ministry or seminary.
- Continue previously mentioned health characteristics.
- Major presence in the Greek system, with athletes, African Americans, Internationals.
Year Eight – The Saturation Freshmen Class
- Win the Freshmen Class of 300 that will return 150 sophomores
- Unless you are on a campus of greater than 40,000 students, this class will see the campus reach saturation before they graduate.
- Win a freshman class of 400 (200 return as sophomores)
- In every segment of the university
- Totally visible throughout the university community.
- Present in the areas of influence of this university.
- 75 Seniors – 20% graduate into full-time Christian work, 100 jrs, 150 soph, 400 fish
- Touching the world; laborers going to every culture.
- A freshmen class that returns 250 sophomores
- 80 seniors, 150 juniors, 200 sophomores, 500 freshmen
- 200 students seeing multiplication
- Impacting the entire State
- Each of our classes is growing because evangelism is extensive throughout University
- 100 students meeting daily for prayer
- 150 Seniors
- 240 Juniors
- 275 Sophomores
- 600 freshmen (1265 in small groups)
- Saturating Greek system, dorms, athletes, internationals, African Americans
Year Twelve – The Dream Come True
- Cru: 1,000
- 200 seniors, 250 juniors, 300 sophomores, 600 freshmen
- 40 students going into full-time Christian work, 20 of those joining staff/going on stint
- 80 graduating satellite campus students, 20 of whom go into full-time Christian work.
photo courtesy of Untitled blue