It’s that magical time of the year again when people reflect on the last 12 months. Using those lessons learned, they then carve out those new year’s resolutions.
As a faith leader, you can take this time to look back on 2021 for your church. Did you grow in membership? Were there unique obstacles you were able to overcome? Where do you feel your ministry fell short?
Using the answers to those probing questions, you can begin to explore setting church goals and objectives for 2022. First, you’ll want to grade your own paper, so to speak, giving yourself gold stars for what your church did well and checking off those areas that might need improvement.
Setting church goals for 2022 will require some in-depth thought, a review of the metrics, and probably a little prayer. Your new goals should be realistic, with a clear path to reach them. Additionally, each new goal achieved should propel your church in growth, membership engagement, and faith leadership in a meaningful way.
To help you organize your church goal-setting process, this list of considerations is essential. Let these ideas inspire you to develop achievable church goals for 2022.
Table of contents
- Start with a New or Revised Strategy to Achieve Church Goals for 2022
- Create a Church Goal List of What You Know
- Define Your Church’s Strengths & Weaknesses
- Use Your Church Calendar as a Guide
- Planning Your Ministry Curriculum
- Keep Those Logical Assumptions in Mind
- Disaster and Emergency Church Preparations
- Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself and Your Faith Leaders
- Set Church Goals for 2022 with the Help of Your Members
- Creating a Workable Church Budget
- Encourage Church Member Goal Setting
- Recognizing the Difference Between Wishes and Action Statements
- Reviewing Your Church Goals for 2022
- Establish Accountability Measures for your Church Goals in 2022
Start with a New or Revised Strategy to Achieve Church Goals for 2022
Before you jot down your first idea for change, it’s best to review your goal-setting strategy. How did you determine last year’s goals? Did you have any in the first place?
Look back at what worked or didn’t work. Then, you can dive deeper to explore the why behind those successes and failures. Ideally, you don’t want to keep setting goals for your church without a clear strategy (that works) in place to achieve them.
Use this time to identify the methods you used in 2021. Keep those efforts that worked well. Additionally, revise or amend those strategies that didn’t produce results or help you achieve your church goals.
Create a Church Goal List of What You Know
As you consider your church goals for 2022, there are likely a few that stand out as obvious additions to the list.
- Grow Membership
- Enhance Church Programs
- Improve the Ministry Outreach & Mission
It’s entirely ok to start with these as your primary church goals for 2022. Every other objective you outline can then support these core goals in some way.
Define Your Church’s Strengths & Weaknesses
Part of your goal-setting process should include a detailed review of your church’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, is your ministry well-established in the local community but maybe falls short on the digital engagement side of technology?
In traditional business settings, they call this step a “SWOT analysis.” However, it makes just as much sense when setting goals for your church.
- Strengths: What your church does well
- Weaknesses: Where your ministry could use improvement
- Opportunities: Trends to prepare for that could result in achieving church goals for 2022
- Threats: Any issues or conflicts that might prevent your church from reaching those goals
Be honest about what you think needs improvement. Additionally, you can plan to lead with your strengths and best foot forward in 2022.
Use Your Church Calendar as a Guide
You might have a few events or special outreach dates to keep on next year’s calendar. Plot those important occasions in ahead of time. You can then use the calendar to help you develop a goal-setting timeline throughout the remaining weeks and months.
For example, if you know your church plans to do several holiday-related outreach events throughout the months of November and December, you can dedicate more targeted efforts to preparing for the other ten months of 2022.
Maybe you’d like to set goals for better community involvement during Easter. Or, it could be that 2022 is the year you’d like to launch a summer youth camp. Whatever ideas you have, using your calendar to help you plan is a smart approach. You can then establish goals within those realistic timelines.
Planning Your Ministry Curriculum
While you have your calendar handy, you can also plan for your ministry curriculum. First, review your lesson plan objectives. Some faith leaders create Excel-based calendars to manage their lessons, which can be incredibly helpful.
Also, as you organize your plans, include church goals for 2022 that pertain to groups or classes your ministry has. If you have volunteers who help lead these faith groups, coach them on preparing their goals for next year, as well.
Remember, you don’t have to have a concrete plan for the entire year right now. Instead, create outlines and roadmaps of curriculum and faith leadership initiatives you’d like to cover in 2022.
Keep Those Logical Assumptions in Mind
Part of your adaptive goal-setting process should also include making logical predictions about what lies ahead in 2022. You aren’t going to have a crystal ball, of course. However, you can draw certain assumptions based on lessons learned this year.
For example, people will be expecting your church to offer some hybrid or entirely online engagement. Thinking about the pandemic, you might also come to other conclusions. For example, you might decide to break up some of your larger faith groups into smaller numbers, meeting at different times to reduce the number of people collectively gathering.
Additionally, you can likely count on members to prioritize certain faith-related milestones. For example, baptisms will continue to be necessary to members and families. You can use this knowledge to create measurement metrics and set goals based on growing these prioritized events.
Disaster and Emergency Church Preparations
Setting church goals for 2022 should also include emergency preparedness efforts. As an example, depending on what’s happened within your community over the last year, it may also be important to offer grief and mass trauma assistance.
You can’t control what happens societally. However, your church can be better prepared to address and engage those who may be suffering uniquely in your area.
Some regions of the country are still experiencing devastation from wildfires. Communities struggle with homelessness issues. Others are still coping with pandemic effects, including health and economic circumstances. There are protests, house fires, and flooding catastrophes that happen, too.
As you set church goals for 2022, include a preparedness plan to help and assist should any of these situations arise in your community.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself and Your Faith Leaders
Considering what everyone’s been through, the good and the bad of 2021, it’s safe to say everyone’s a little tired. So part of your church goals for 2022 should include special attention to self-care for yourself and other ministry leaders with the church.
Establish goals that allow for rest. Take time to prioritize health and wellness, whether it’s a walking regimen or gym membership. Schedule and keep those routine physicals and try to drink your eight glasses of water every day.
Deliberately carving out goals that speak to the well-being of your ministry and yourself will ensure you don’t overlook those necessary breaks. Ultimately, you’ll be able to offer the best version of yourself when you’re refreshed, rested, and healthy.
Set Church Goals for 2022 with the Help of Your Members
Don’t take on this goal-setting for the year project without consulting your ministry members. Volunteers, church employees, and faith leaders will all have ideas and suggestions to offer that can help.
Have one-on-one conversations. Send out anonymous surveys. Also, be sure to ask specifically about what areas could use improvement.
Operational efficiencies might need to be revised. Policies or processes could use updating. Additionally, some of the best growth and engagement ideas come from those within your ministry. Varying perspectives are critical to setting realistic goals for the new year.
Creating a Workable Church Budget
Probably the least likable aspect of developing church goals for 2022 involves carving out a church budget for the year. However, it doesn’t have to be tedious.
Start by reviewing the budget for 2021 and any unplanned spending that occurred this year. Those areas can help you predict what fund allocations to plan for in 2022.
If you have a goal to create a more robust online presence, you’ll want to designate the budget for those digital upgrades. For example, maybe you need new equipment. Or, it could be your website needs a complete overhaul to begin incorporating live streams and video libraries.
Look for new ways to save in 2022. There might be expenses on the books right now that are no longer relevant to your core objectives. Cut any wasteful or unproductive spending and set that as a goal ongoing to preserve the funds on-hand for incidentals.
Of course, you’ll have to plan for monthly bills and general operational spending. But planning ahead for these and other expenses can help ensure you have the funds you need to reach those church goals you’re setting.
Encourage Church Member Goal Setting
As you establish your church goals for 2022, don’t forget to encourage your ministry members to set their own faith goals for the year.
Here are some individual, faith-based goals your church members might appreciate:
- Making daily prayer a habit
- Keeping a faith journal
- Be better about giving back
- Practicing forgiveness of others and self
- Read the Bible, cover to cover
Share your goal-setting process with them to inspire them to reflect on their faith. Show them how to review their faith journeys and identify areas of improvement. Walk them through how to set realistic goals. And then be there for them to help them reach those goals.
Recognizing the Difference Between Wishes and Action Statements
When you think about it, most people attribute goals and New Year’s resolutions with “wish” statements. For example, people say they want to lose weight. Others say they wish they had more money.
But there is a key difference between wanting to lose weight or wishing for more money and taking the steps needed to achieve those goals.
When creating your church goals for 2022, keep these common pitfalls in mind. Don’t simply aspire to gain more members. Instead, create two or three new or better activities your church can do to get those membership numbers growing.
Goals are achievable when there are action statements attached to them. Don’t just hope for an increase in Sunday attendance. Develop an “invite a guest” strategy for members every month to increase Sunday attendance.
Similarly, it’s not enough to set a goal that says your want more children to participate in the church’s youth program. Instead, try a new approach to making those youth programs appealing to the youngsters in your ministry. Revise the goal to say your plan includes adding to the youth program’s offering or better marketing and engagement to attract children and families.
Reviewing Your Church Goals for 2022
Once you feel you have a good handle on reasonable church goals for 2022, you might feel like you’re done. However, Smart Church Management suggests reviewing your objectives through a “SMART” lens.
S – Specific: Review your church goals to make sure they’re specific enough to accomplish.
M – Measurable: Don’t just set lofty goals without metrics to gauge effectiveness.
A – Attainable: If you’ve assigned tasks as part of your goal strategy, make sure they’re doable.
R – Realistic: Eliminate any wishful thinking statements and replace them with action statements.
T – Timely: Set review timelines and deadlines where applicable for goal accountability.
Establish Accountability Measures for your Church Goals in 2022
It’s not uncommon for people to set weight loss goals as part of their New Year’s resolutions. But so many fail to achieve those goals, in part because they don’t have accountability holding them to those objectives.
When setting church goals for 2022, also look to establish metrics or accountability measures. For example, if partway through the year, a particular goal seems unreasonable, change it. Also, if you’ve set a goal without a way to measure your progress toward reaching it, you could go off course.
Work with your members and faith leaders to help. Create safety nets for each other for accountability. Reminders, ongoing conversations, and metrics can ensure everyone stays on track, working to achieve those goals in the new year.
Your church should always be working toward growth and betterment. Setting church goals for 2022 can help you do just that. And if any of your goals require digital or marketing help, let ReachRight be your guide!