A Pastor’s Guide To Church Goal Setting

Thomas Costello Leave a Comment

It’s that time of year again.  

The time when we take stock of what happened last year and start to look forward to what God is going to do in the year to come.  

And for most church leaders, that means that it’s time to take a look at our goals for the new year. 

But as most of us know, most goals and resolutions are abandoned but mid-January. 

We wanted to do an episode dedicated to Church Goal Setting to help you get some mileage out of your goals this year. 

We hope these tips help your church reach more people and grow. 

Revisit Last Years Goals

If we want to get somewhere in the new year, we must know what happened last year. 

Now is the best time to take an honest assessment of how last year went. 

Ask yourself how you did on each of your goals last year. 

If you missed the mark, what caused that to happen? Will that be a problem again this year?  

Take an honest stock, and it will help you set better goals this year. 

They Must Be Measurable

One of the biggest mistakes we see church leaders making is creating unmeasurable goals. 

And I get it. It is hard to quantify spiritual growth. 

But you have to stretch yourself to find ways to measure what your church sets out to do.  

“I want to see a fresh hunger for prayer.” That is an excellent thought. It’s a bad goal because you can’t measure it.  

A better goal would be, “I want to see an average of 15 people in our weekly prayer meetings this year.” It is better because you can look back at this time next year and see what God has done. 

Let Your Leaders Set Their Own Goals

If you are like most church leaders, you have goals for areas of ministry other than your own.  

If you lead a church, I am sure you want to see growth in your Youth and Kids programs. 

But avoid the urge to create goals for areas that other people oversee. 

Instead, allow them to work with the Holy Spirit to craft their own goals for their area of ministry. 

When that doesn’t align with your goals for that ministry, it is a great chance to have an alignment conversation.  

These can be very healthy. 

Make Them Qualitative

Avoid the temptation to make your goals all about traditional metrics. Salvations, Attendance, and Giving are essential to track, but they are not the only areas you can follow. 

Keep in mind that qualitative goals still need to be measurable.  

Metrics like hours served in the community or the number of people who invited a friend are great examples of metrics that measure the ministry’s quality. 

Set Up Benchmarks

IF you are serious about your goals, you need to have some benchmarks along the way.  

If one of your goals is to grow your Instagram follows to 1000 in the new year, plan to revisit these goals quarterly at a minimum.  

Are you making the progress you expected?  

Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals if you need to. Remember, they are there to serve you, not the other way around. 

Put them Where Others Can See Them.

Finally, goals are best if they are shared publically. This may not make sense for every metric, but most should be displayed publically where other members of your team can see them. 

This will help you to keep your goals in mind.  

It also provides accountability along the way.  

We could all use some of that!

More on Church Goal Setting

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A Pastor's Guide To Church Goal Setting
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