The BHAG’s of my 30’s

Yesterday was my 30th birthday. Wow, 30. It’s about time.

Don’t get me wrong, my 20’s were an incredible experience. God blessed me with trips all over the U.S., parts of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. I got to see all 30 MLB ballparks with my beautiful wife, including a trip to the World Series. I got to publish my first book and get accolades from a writer whose opinion I value very highly. I lived in four states, moved nine times (technically, eleven times, but two of those were temporary), served in four different churches, and bought two houses.


There were also plenty of things from my 20’s that I’d like to leave in the past. The beauty of discipleship is that God draws out our weaknesses and imperfections into the light of the Gospel so we can see those places where we need deeper surrender to His work. This past year God has allowed me to detox from some negative philosophies about life, my identity, and ministry. I’ve also grown through the patience and support of good friends and Kara. My “fuse” is longer, the delay between my thoughts and my words is better, and my heart is fuller because of Jesus’ work in my life.

bhagNow, it’s time to crush my 30’s. In Jim Collins’ book Built to Last, he introduces the idea of setting Big, Hair, Audacious Goals, or BHAGs, for businesses. Collins described BHAGs this way,

“A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.” – Built to Last, p. 94

I love setting goals, which is why I’m setting at least seven BHAGs to wrestle down in my 30’s…

  1. Write a New York Times best-selling book.
  2. Give a TED Talk.
  3. Be a confidant for missionaries, pastors, and ministry staff on sabbatical or furlough. I’d share more details, but there are already dreams and details happening that are building towards this reality.
  4. Become a dad of four, maybe five. This may not seem like a BHAG, but other parents I know assure me it’s often the scariest part of their life.
  5. Share the stage with a New York Times’ best-selling author as a co-presenter or panelist.
  6. Spend more time learning from people who have different, even completely opposite views than I do. What makes this Big, Hairy, and Audacious is that very few people willingly engage with others who they know think, act, and believe different than they do.
  7. Stay in the best physical shape I possibly can. I worked very hard throughout my 20’s to start my 30’s in great physical shape. If you’re wondering how big, hairy, and audacious this is, think about how many fit 40-something’s you know. If you don’t make time for fitness now, your body will make time for health conditions later.

I’m not even going to predict or confront how possible any of these are, but each of them are within the realm of potential. I may go crazy or pull out whatever’s left of my hair by 40. It doesn’t matter. My 30’s will be the greatest decade of my life…until my 40’s. By the grace of God, I hope to tackle all of these to their fullest with all glory to God and Christ my Savior.

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