Thursday, December 3, 2020

Written by Alan Vink

Categories: Pastors Blog

Tags: Ministry Practice

Comments: 0

Dear Pastors


Some of you are already well underway thinking and planning about next year. Some of you wait until you have a break over Christmas to start thinking and praying about what you want to achieve in the new year. Either way as leaders we think about ‘vision’ a lot. A vision as you know is primarily about where you want to go. It is about a preferred future, a better future. You may have a ‘Vision Statement’ on your wall and/or quoted in your newsletter each week. And no doubt that is important. But words on a page won’t get you far. You need a few goals and perhaps a BHAG. And then you need discipline and commitment.

BHAG is a concept developed in the book Built to Last by Jim Collins and later referenced in ‘Good To Great’.

“A BHAG (pronounced “Bee Hag,” short for "Big Hairy Audacious Goal") is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s. The best BHAGs require both building for the long term AND exuding a relentless sense of urgency: What do we need to do today, with monomaniacal focus, and tomorrow, and the next day, to defy the probabilities and ultimately achieve our BHAG”? Excerpt from Built To Last by Jim Collins

Remember this diagram? Brilliant! Collins called this ‘The Hedgehog Concept’. The top (blue) circle and the bottom left (yellow) circle are self-explanatory. The bottom right (green) circle isn’t at least not for a local church. The ‘Economic Engine’ of a church is about getting piercing insight into how to most effectively generate sustained and robust cash flow to fulfil the vision you have. Remember no money, no ministry! As an aside, I hold a view that many churches in the Traditional/Evangelical sector of the Christian church who have visionary pastors are ‘ham-strung’ because neither the pastor nor the Board are giving enough attention to cash flow. And just to be clear I am NOT advocating offering sermons every Sunday. In fact I am not suggesting offering sermons at all. There are far better and more ethical ways to generate sustained funding for a local church.

Back to the diagram. Please sit with this for a while. Pray over it and write lots of notes. Give each of your leaders this diagram and ask them to answer the three questions before you talk. It will almost definitely throw up some fascinating and fresh thinking. And now start a ‘new’ conversation with your inner circle people.


As we shortly turn a corner into a new year can I ask you, What goals do you have for 2021? Are they SMART Goals? Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-lined. What about ONE BHAG……just one big hairy audacious goal? Are you ready to do something big for God in 2021? And 2022 and 2023? Are you ready to change the world?



Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.

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