Setting Goals As a Pastor

The new year is a time when many of us resolve to make changes, reach certain goals and surrender areas of life to God in order to be more like Christ as His followers. The practice of making resolutions for the new year dates back at least 4,000 years and crosses many societal and cultural boundaries worldwide. Though Pastors often live a week-to-week type of a leadership, let me suggest three areas where setting goals for a new year can be beneficial to the church and her leadership.

Your ministry goal. Often we put numeric goals at the head of ministry goal lists. Instead let me suggest you think about how your church can be more effective for Christ in the coming year versus simply larger in various areas like attendance or giving. Perhaps God is calling you to begin a new ministry, to let a dying area of ministry go, or to alter or adjust an area of ministry? What needs in your community are not being met by any church? How can you more effectively share the gospel in your culture and context? What one thing would make the greatest difference in your church being on fire for the gospel in your area? (Hint: do not let the answer be a monetary one.)

Your spiritual goal. Within your congregation, think about an area where you may want to lend spiritual instruction or challenge in the coming year. In which area could your congregation most grow spiritually? Are they in need of instruction in studying and applying the Word? Making disciples? Sharing their faith? Serving the poor? Is their worship self-centered? While a ministry goal may be outwardly focused, a spiritual goal may be inwardly focused (in the context of this article). What is the heartbeat of your congregation and how can you make it stronger and more effective for Christ in the coming year?

Your personal goal. Finally, in your own life, pastoral role and relationships, where can you see personal improvement in the coming year? Let your own life and goals set an example for your congregation. Do not be afraid to share personal goals with others and let fellow believers help hold you accountable. Additionally, use your own goals as a teaching opportunity to others. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to moving forward as a church leader is a pastor’s lack of personal goals. Use the opportunity of a new year to reach for something beyond yourself for the coming months.


Author: Eugene Mason, Communications Director for Cross Pointe Church under the leadership of Dr. James Merritt.