What’s a BHAG?
This month in each of the Truth@Work roundtables I facilitate, we kicked off the year as we do every year with the topic of BHAGs. Most who have heard this term in the past associate it with Big Hairy Audacious Goals. In Truth@Work, we call these Big Hairy Audacious God-sized Goals.
So, what’s a Big Hairy Audacious God-sized Goal? In Truth@Work, we challenge members to go beyond “stretch goals”. Yes, traditional goal setting is part of our process, however, annually we want members to go beyond. A BHAG in Truth@Work is a goal that God has placed upon your heart that there is absolutely no way you could achieve it on your own. It can only be achieved through the God’s provision.
We often share a story of a member years ago who wasn’t big on goal setting. He felt that you’re trying to take too much control of your situation by identifying BHAGs. Finally, one year, the member said, “Alright, I will declare a BHAG this year. My BHAG is to give away more money this year than what I earned last year. There is absolutely no way I could do this without God’s blessing.” So, you know what? Yes, it happened, that year circumstances arose that allowed this member to give away to charity an amount greater than what he had earned the prior year. What a story, huh?
So, how often do we see stories like this in Truth@Work? More frequent than what you may think. In fact, many know our story related to our prior blog post, One of The Best Christmas Gifts Ever. We encourage to read this blog post if you don’t know the story already, however, this was truly a BHAG. Lisa and I had absolutely no idea how we were going to meet the financial commitment placed upon our hearts and it’s only through his blessing that it was fulfilled, and then some.
Let’s go back to the gentlemen who struggled with goal setting. I can relate firsthand that I have had challenges with this the past few years as well. I have always been one to have goals and have been a hard charger in making things happen. After losing my job in 2008, one of the things that has been highlighted in my relationship with Christ is the need for control. I have experienced much spiritual growth in this area. However, one of the challenges I’ve wrestled with is the whole aspect of goal setting. At times, it seems that the direction I need to head or a client comes completely out of left field and due to no efforts of my own. After you have enough of these experiences, you get to a point of asking, “am I really in control of anything”? And, if not, why do I even set goals and have plans?
While I don’t have this all figured out, what I do know is that there seems to be scriptural evidence that supports goal setting and planning. Here are just a few scriptures that immediately come to mind:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Proverbs 29:18
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3
And there are multiple others throughout the Bible.
I think the differentiation is in your “why” and becoming too attached to “your plans”. Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do” thus what I have learned to do in setting goals is ask “why” and “who” is this about. Is it about “The Kingdom” or is it about “Chris”? That one’s easy, isn’t it!
I’m not sure about you, however, I have experienced multiple times, goals which I think are about “The Kingdom” that I always seem to get a little bit of “me” creeping in. Let’s just use the “offering” story related to above. Is that story about God’s blessing and faithfulness, or is it about Chris’ pride about making the decision to make a contribution and rely upon the LORD? For us, we’re very quick to acknowledge when sharing this story that this is about our Lord; however, you can see how our heart and motives might be wrong even in a circumstance like this story.
So, once we have our heart right and we commit to a BHAG, the next step is to pray continually. I have discovered that we can’t pray enough. God wants to be in relationship and takes great pleasure in revealing Himself through His Word as well as fulfilling our dreams and desires. No, I am not talking about “prosperity theology” where God always fulfills our dreams and desires when we’re earnestly following Him. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” This doesn’t mean that all our BHAGs will be fulfilled the way we desire, however, it does mean that all circumstances work together for His purposes. Thus, if we truly have desires placed upon our hearts, pray continually, take action, and look for His leading, the circumstances, however they unfold, are to His glory.
So, have you taken the time to declare BHAGs for 2013? No, I’m not talking about the New Year resolutions you likely have down on paper that you see yourself fulfilling. I am talking about a true BHAG that only God can fulfill through the longings in your heart to please Him.
If you need help, we’re here to assist!