Bill and Sharon decided to take the family on a vacation in California. Together, they talked about Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, and San Diego. Each one is a great place to vacation. However, each one has its own climate base. San Diego is far different in weather than San Francisco or Yosemite. Bill was ready for a more rugged outdoors vacation. While his wife, Sharon, thought a family vacation to one of the touristy cities of the west coast would be more memorable.
If Bill and Sharon set out preparing and packing for his/her own destination, someone would not be prepared suitably for the weather or the environment. One’s vacation dreams would be shattered. This will only lead to frustration and disappointment. While we would not prepare for a vacation with our family like this, this scenario certainly plays out in the workplace and in churches each year.
Whether planning for a family vacation or the next task in ministry (or business), a translucence of aim is necessary. By translucence of aim, we are speaking of communicating the precise simplicity of your objective. Let’s break it down into three characteristics. The aim or objective is that which the leader desires his/her team to accomplish. What is it that we are driving for? Every aim should be clear, concise, and certain.
CLEAR – Your aim as an individual, family, or any organization (or team) must be clear. (Let’s use the term organization. You can replace it with family, team or other entity) When your aim or objective is not clearly understood by everyone involved, you’ll be as ill-prepared as Bill and Sharon’s vacation adventure. Most leaders believe they have a very clear aim and that every person in the organization “clearly” understands that aim. However, this is often not the case. When you have shared the aim with everyone multiple times – until you are tired of it, keep sharing it. Share it until the members of your organization are sharing it with you, voluntarily. This can help you avoid frustration and disappointment.
CONCISE – Every aim should be brief and to the point. You do not want your explanation of the organization’s aim to bore people to sleep. Keep it brief. You should be able to state your aim in one sentence – and not a run-on sentence either. Your aim sentence should be short enough that not only the leader but every member can memorize it, without trying.
CERTAIN – Every aim should also be specific, certain. It must be specific enough that everyone in the organization is moving in the same direction. A train has many wheels. And every train making forward progress has every wheel on the right track and turning in the same direction. California is a big state. It is not certain or specific enough to say our aim is California. People will be packing the wrong bags, turning their wheel in the wrong direction, if even on the same track. The organizational aim should be so certain, that every person is not only on the same track but helping reach the objective by turning his/her own wheel in step with everyone else.
The translucence of aim comes with being clear, concise, and certain. At any point of the journey, if asked by an outsider, any member should be able to clearly state the aim of your organization – as well as his/her part in fulfilling that aim. This is translucence of aim.
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.
Translucence of Aim