Strategy 05 // What Are You Moving Toward?

So you’ve done the work of setting your team’s Thematic Goal – now what? It’s time to figure out what the team is actually moving toward. Patrick Lencioni calls these Defining Objectives.

By definition, these are temporary, qualitative components that serve to clarify exactly what is meant by the thematic goal; shared by all members of the team (and usually varying in number from four to six). Defining objectives provide a level of specificity so the thematic goal isn’t merely a slogan but rather a specific and understandable call to action.

1. Make a list.

Based on your primary customer and knowing what has momentum and what doesn’t, it’s time to make an exhaustive list, at first, of what will move your church toward its preferred future.

2. Narrow the list.

After the list is up, have your team discuss the list. You are looking for items that can be paired into a single objective. Typically, when multiple items can be grouped together, that’s a sign that it is likely a Defining Objective. You are also looking for non-agreement. When a team member pitches an objective and no one else gets excited, it’s not a Defining Objective. When 1 or 2 more team member do show energy, it’s probably a Defining Objective.

3. Save the rest for later.

Isolate your top 5. These are now your Defining Objectives. What remains should be saved and discussed the next time you set strategy and refresh your Thematic Goal.

Similar to your Thematic Goal, Defining Objectives help you know where to focus your team’s energy. If you aim to accomplish the entire list of objectives, you will probably accomplish nothing. Defining Objectives ensure that you aren’t wasting away in maintenance mode. Instead, you are allocating energy for making your church better at accomplishing its mission.

@@You can’t maintain your church toward movement. You must make it better for mission.@@

What are your church's Defining Objectives? Do you know what you're moving toward?


This is the fifth post in a series on strategy.