The Serve ProjectWritten by Sattler College
BHAG (pronounced “Bee Hag”). A goal so audacious you’re tempted to scoff at it, so big it cannot be achieved unless everyone works closely together. BHAG is short for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. The inaugural class of 2022 decided to undertake a BHAG, setting commencement as the due date. They decided on this for a number of reasons: to unite their class as they work together toward a common goal, to discover and foster common passions, and to make the intellectual side of the college experience practical. While taking on a BHAG is not required at Sattler, other classes have already started to initiate similar efforts to bond together. Today though, we will just take a look at the recent graduates' project. Cody Sensening provides us with the specifics of his class’s process. Here's the what, why, and how of the project.
Class of ‘22
Written By Cody Sensenig
What was your BHAG?
The Sattler College class of 2022 partnered with the Followers of the Way East Boston church to develop a plan for a community engagement center. The mission, named The Serve Project, was to mobilize a cross-discipline effort to enable the East Boston church to serve their community, foster a tangible vision for the local church, nurture a network in the local community, and bring disciples into the Kingdom of God.
What was your rationale for choosing your BHAG?
As mobilizing cross-discipline teams of size can be challenging, we recognized the acute need of committing this project to God in prayer. During this time, we had a brainstorming night where we threw out any and every idea on a whiteboard. During the following weeks, we collected refined proposals from the class. Finally, we convened as a class to make the final decision through a three-step process:
- Pitching each of the ideas that had been submitted by the class, including time for Q & A.
- Breaking into groups of three or four to discuss and narrow down on our top picks.
- Closing with a final pitch from each of the groups about the initiative they believed we should pursue and why.
At the end of the evening, we were surprised by the almost immediate consensus across the whole class on one project: The Serve Project. While meetings before this had been wrought with a lack of consensus, our class was able to unite around a common vision. We still attribute this consensus to the conscious effort we put into bathing the process in prayer. In the end, the tangible nature of the project’s outcomes and the fit with the skill sets and motivations of the class of 2022 made the Serve Project the ideal choice.
How did you execute your BHAG?
To begin execution, we formed a project committee to delegate tasks to the class, connect with the stakeholders (mainly the East Boston church), and draft a project charter. Once the project charter was completed, we split into three strategic task forces: Interviews, Branding and Development, and Research.
- The interviews task force created a survey and interview questionnaire to solicit input from the locals on the felt needs of East Boston residents. Some of the needs that came up included housing assistance, immigrant services, childcare programs, thrift stores and English classes.
- The branding and development task force developed a logo, brand name, color scheme and website for the initiative. In addition, they drafted proposals for 6 different programs that could be implemented once the center was operational.
- The research task force set out to understand and distill the rich cultural and historical background of East Boston. This included hours of internet research and drafting a 10+ page document with statistics and other helpful information.
At the end of this project, the class of 2022 transferred all the documentation and met with the members of the East Boston church to discuss the work and create a successful transition.
As Sattler students, we have been given so much. The Serve Project allowed us to serve the local church and give back to a local Boston community in a tangible way. We believe God will use our efforts to facilitate ongoing meaningful engagement between the local church and its neighbors. Jesus’s peaceful revolution continues one small step at a time.