We all remember the late Neil Armstrong for his first steps on the moon back in 1969. Maybe you also remember President Kennedy announcing in 1961 the ambitious goal of sending an American to the moon before the end of the decade. Only the construction of the Panama Canal and the Manhattan Project were comparable in scope to the goal Kennedy challenged us with that day.
Today we call a paradigm-shifting goal like that a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Or if it’s January, we may call them “New Year’s Resolutions.” Politics, ministry, and our personal lives are full of them, but BHAGS and resolutions rarely work.
Seth Godin explains that the reason they don’t work is because they don’t change habits, and habits are where our lives, careers, ministries and even our country are made. If we want to get in shape, forget the resolution and get to the gym every single day. If we want to transform our church, don’t focus on a more inspirational Sunday service, get disciplined to do the gritty shoulder-to-shoulder work it takes to change lives.
Audacious goals, resolutions, and inspirational messages are great. However, as Godin suggests, they may be a distraction from the thing that really frightens us – a shift in daily habits that would mean a re-invention of how we see ourselves.
Ministry can always benefit from better habits. Everyday habits. Do that first.