These rules for goal-setting can be absolutely transformational for you and your leadership. Also, check out my book the Miracle of Faith Goals for further study.
Faith goals are always specific and concrete
“My goal is just to be used of God,” you emote, but that is not specific. What does that statement mean in a concrete, practical way? What would you have to do, learn, or become in order for God to use you? It’s almost impossible to go after an ethereal, formless idea or concept. In what specific way do you want to be used of God?
- If your God-given vision is to become a preacher, then you should set some specific faith goals. Goals to read books by successful ministers, undertake an intensive Bible study, take classes on preaching and public speaking, talk to a preacher about the traits you should be developing in your life and personality, and then set goals that will enable you to go to school to earn credentials to become a pastor.
- If you want to be a business owner, your faith goals should be to find a mentor who can help you, read business books, and perhaps enroll in a business college.
- If your vision is to get married, one faith goal might be to make a list of who you would consider marrying or the qualities and characteristics you want in a spouse. Or a list of the qualities and personality traits you would need to develop in yourself that would attract a spouse to you. For instance, improve my table manners, dress attractively, have my teeth whitened, etc.
Prayerfully set your own goals
Don’t let somebody else set your goals for you. Unless the goals are your own, your heart will not be in them. When you set your own faith goals, your enthusiasm is sustained. The goals burn within you. You won’t need someone else to keep encouraging you. Like David in the Bible, you learn how to encourage yourself. Your faith goals should be specific and personal to your vision.
A faith goal should always move you closer to fulfilling your vision
Once I heard a man say, “I am called to the ministry, but I’m working at General Motors and they’re providing free education for those who want to study chemistry. So I’ll take the chemistry classes because they’re free.”
The chemistry class may be free, but how is it taking you closer to your vision? My advice: Ruthlessly reject opportunities that point away from your vision. Otherwise, you may spend your life on activities that move you away from the call God has placed on your life.
Goals help you organize your life.
When you have vision and faith goals, life is a lot less work because you have a way of screening everything. You simply ask yourself when an opportunity comes along, “Does this idea or opportunity fit within my vision? Does it match up with my faith goals?” If not, you can confidently say, “No, I’m sorry, that’s not part of the plan.” This explains why New Year’s resolutions never work.
A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle. ~Zig Ziglar
Every opportunity you take should somehow bring you closer to fulfilling your vision.
A faith goal should be written down
Some people keep everything in their heads, but I have found that the palest ink is stronger than the sharpest memory. Get it down on paper. When you do, you’ll achieve a hundred times more in your lifetime.
1 Chronicles 28:19 NLT
“Every part of this plan,” David told Solomon, “was given to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.”
The Lord guided David as he set faith goals and put them in writing. He wrote, “Every part of this plan….” meaning the plan was detailed. I love that!
A faith goal must be challenging
Mark 16:15 KJV
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Jesus did not tell his disciples, “I’ll be satisfied with 200 followers. Go into all the world and when you’ve got 200 more disciples, that should be enough.” No, he gave a challenging vision that seemed impossible—except that God was in it.
Our faith goals should challenge and stimulate us like that. Don’t be wimpy when setting a faith goal. Make it interesting and challenging enough to keep your attention and motivation going. Don’t make it impossible, like creating a new planet, but do make it something that will draw out your best talents, planning, perseverance, and creativity.
A faith goal has to have a deadline
If you got engaged to someone but never set a wedding date, chances are you would never get married. You would drift from month-to-month, year-to-year waiting for the right moment to strike. Faith goals always have deadlines. A great Bible example is the story of the woman with the issue of blood. She came to Jesus with a vision and faith goals—including a deadline. She said, “If I just touch the hem of his robe, I know I will be healed.” So she pressed in through the crowd and touched his robe. She got her miracle. (Luke 8:43–48 MSG)
God modeled this process for us, too. He had a wonderful vision of redemption for mankind. He knew that man was going to sin, and so God’s plan to restore us proceeded from one deadline to another. Step-by-step, he made faith announcements down the centuries through people we call prophets. He told them, “The Messiah is coming. He’s going to be born in Bethlehem. He’s going to be crucified and raised from the dead. He’s going to ascend to heaven and the Church will begin and grow in this period of time.” God set faith goals and deadlines for his plan of redemption. He does this for everything.
Romans 5:6 NLT
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Notice the phrase “at just the right time.” God knew all along when Jesus would be born, when he would die, when he would rise again. He has a time for everything!
God works by goals
He has faith goals for your life and a faith goal for the day and the hour when Jesus comes back. We should have deadlines with our goals, too. Remember that work expands to fill the time allotted. That is called Parkinson’s Law. So make deadlines that are not too soon and not too far away. Try to fit the deadline to the goal.
Faith goals will change you on the inside. They will shape the way you think. Ultimately, setting faith goals is not about what you get but about what you become. Let’s commit as leaders to have a great, big, God-given vision for our lives and then to set and reach faith goals for our leadership at home, in ministry, and in the workplace. Sign up and get a free session on Faith Goals from the Art of Pacesetting Leadership course or check out my book the Miracle of Faith Goals.