Roles and Goals

Years ago, Steven Covey wrote a book called Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It has been a runaway best seller ever since and has spanned all kinds of subsidiary products and spinoffs. One of them was called “The Weekly Compass.” The idea was to use a small slip of paper to do six things every week related to a persons Roles and Goals.

  1. Connect to Mission
  2. Review Roles
  3. Identify Goals
  4. Organize Weekly
  5. Exercise Integrity
  6. Evaluate

Years ago, I used the book to identify 7 roles that I have in life. All of us have similar kinds of roles. Some have more; some have less. Here are the roles I identified for myself and the goal statement I would want to hear when my days on earth are completed:

  1. δοῦλος (Gr.)  — “Doulos” slave [of God] — and the goal I am living for, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” To hear those words from Jesus would be the reward of eternity.
  2. Husband — to Stephnie — “He was a husband most women only dream about.”  Every day I fall short of what my bride deserves but I’m not going to quit. I will keep trying to love her better than the day before. “I will never be worthy of the woman You gave to me but make me a better man for her sake and Your glory.”
  3. Father — to my four children — “My father was easy to love and admire. He was my hero.”  Boy do I have a long  way to go! And the sobering thought of today is that I have only a few years left to accomplish the goal. “Help me LORD! And protect me O God from making idols of my children or of their love.”
  4. Teammate — to my staff — “No matter how much pressure he was under, he was always encouraging and fair.”  My years of having a staff are over, but my hope is that their memories of me with all my flaws and stupidities, they would remember me as encouraging and fair. Perhaps I will replace this one with the role of Mentor — and the new goal — “He was an encourager and a pusher. I became more than I might have been because of him.”  “Oh Lord, make me such a man, that the men with whom I work bring great glory to You.”
  5. Pastor — to pastors and congregations —  “He helped us fall in love with Jesus.”  
  6. Son — to my Mom and Dad —  “He lived his convictions passionately and made us proud.”  I hope we will have great conversations in eternity.
  7. Brother — to my four brothers and two sisters — “He inspired us to run hard after Jesus.”  My brothers and sisters are extraordinary. Yes, I am biased. And everyone who knows them, knows I am right. I am not worthy to stand in their midst but I am overwhelmed to be their older brother.
    And one more:
  8. Neighbors — in the community —  “He was always going out of his way to be helpful.”  Oh that each of them would say more, that each would come to know Christ and serve Him with their lives, that is my prayer. “God, give me opportunity to more than kind. Open doors to the gospel, the good news of Your forgiveness.”

As far as I know, Steven Covey is not a Christian. But he wrote a helpful and challenging book about living an effective life. Some of you fulfill other roles. Some are coaches, teachers, politicians, librarians, mechanics, friends, counselors, pastors, and dozens of others roles. It isn’t a bad idea for any of us to think of the roles we have in our lives and to set some goals to strive for. It may help us to live passionately for and like Christ. And that is always a good thing.

If we want to stand as pillars to those around us and those who come after us, figuring out our roles and goals and striving for them each day, is a good idea.


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