What’s your Famine BHAG?


MChris McKenna

No, I didn’t just swear at you in German!

I’m a process guy. It was bred into me from years spent in Corporate America. Most businesses live and breathe systems and processes. They encourage consistency and predictability. And, over the past four years, I’ve tried to bring some of this process thinking into my junior high ministry role. Let’s be honest – what student ministry wouldn’t benefit from a bit more process and organization?! But, I’ve had to be careful not to let systems and process squeeze the Holy Spirit right out of any event.

In their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras encouraged companies to define goals that are more emotionally compelling. They called these “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” or BHAG’s (pronounced BEE-hags).

I’m almost embarrassed to write that I needed a cool phrase like BHAG to remind me to make room for the Holy Spirit in our 30 Hour Famine. Don’t I work for The CREATOR? He’s the MASTER of BHAG’s! Create a plan to save the human race? He’s done that. Create the duck-billed platypus? He’s done that. Thinking big and out of the box should be automatic in ministry; but sadly, I had grown a little too comfortable and had created a Famine event that was a little too predictable.

Some easy places I tried to think about a BHAG were in numbers and impact.

How many kids would you like to see come (Numbers)? Actually set a number and talk about it, advertise it and pray for it. How much do you want to raise (Numbers)? Instead of using last year’s total as the starting point, what wild stretch could you dream of raising (Numbers)? How about doing the hard work of reaching out to potential business partners to multiply the financial impact (Impact). Or think about having students put words to their experience (Impact) and share some of those with your congregation (Impact). How do you dream of student hearts being transformed (Impact)?

Our Famine event is this week. Will we achieve our BHAG’s? Honestly, I don’t know! But, it sure is fun dreaming about the possibilities and prayerfully watching what God will do. Do you have a Famine BHAG to share?