How to Set Church Goals

Part of the church strategic planning process is setting church goals and objectives.

Goals should be written so they are measurable and should be an outcome of the strategic planning process.

Goals simply map out steps to achieve a strategic objective and do not need to be overly complicated. But, implementation of goals does require discipline and a commitment to follow-through to completion.

I recommend using the the SMART goal model to achieve these desired results.

SMART Goals are:

Goals simply map out steps to achieve a strategic objective and do not need to be overly complicated. But, implementation of goals does require discipline and a commitment to follow-through to completion.Specific:  Is the goal specific enough for clarity?
Measurable:   Is there a way to measure the success of the goal?
Attainable:  Is the goal truly attainable?
Realistic:  Is the goal realistically written?
Timely:  Is there a timeline associated to the goal to ensure a completion date?

Church goals should be an outcome of strategy and written to help move the organization forward.
Examples of strategy might be focusing on increasing weekly offerings, improving programs and ministries, reducing costs and improving the experience for members, volunteers and employees.

Examples of Church Goals:

1.  Increase weekly church volunteer participation by 10% (100 to 110) by December 20xx.
2.  Reduce operating budget expenses by 10% ($100,000 to $90,000) by June 20xx.
3.  Increase weekly attendance 20% (500 to 600) by December 20xx.
4.  Establish volunteer leadership training and train 75% of volunteers by October 20xx.

Writing goals should include a discussion with the appropriate people and answer the questions:  Who (will do it), What (needs to be done), When (timeline for completion) and How (steps to get it done).  Answering these questions flushes out the specific details of the goal.

Now lets look at one of these goals and create an example goal document.

2013-12-12 10_33_15-Volunteer Department Annual Goals - Microsoft Word non-commercial use

Now lets take it a step further and create an employee (or volunteer) goal.

2013-12-12 10_51_30-Church Employee Goals - Microsoft Word non-commercial use

Managers and ministry heads should use the goal document as a guide throughout the year to reinforce deadlines outlined in the worksheet and employee goals should be incorporated into an annual performance appraisal process.

This shows you how simplified the process can be so hopefully it will encourage you to take the time to create a goal document.  A church’s ability to write and accomplish organizational goals is critical to implementing a strategic plan and achieving ministry objectives.

Does your church write annual goals?

An editable copy of these example documents can be found here.

If you found this article helpful, please share it!

photo by: duncanc


    • Patricia says

      The good news is with growth comes budget so the important thing right now is to create an inviting environment that people relate to and want to be part of. This also ties into strategy and goals. Volunteer labor can be the engine of getting something off the ground also. these articles can help with that. and Please let me know if you have any specific questions I can help with. God bless you!

      • Cynthia Nweke says

        Hello Patricia,
        I’m not a pastor. But I really do need help desperately. Maybe you’re an answer to my prayers, because I don’t even know how I got here.
        Our lord, place some huge responsibilities on me which is so overwhelming to me but which his grace has continuously provided for. I’m not experience. I run a humanitarian organisation in Africa to raise a generation that will grow into the fruit-bearing believers for Jesus. These children are homeless, orphans, poor etc, which we creat through love and education. Patricia, I struggle. I should do better but I lack experience. Can you help?

  1. says

    Attempting to help church with increasing growth and responsibility with no budget. Any help would be appreciated. My desire is to the assist the pastor with strategic planning and meaningful goals that relate to the church’s mission.

    • Patricia says

      Thank you for contacting us. If you look at this article on strategic planning it walks you through the process of developing strategy and goals. If you have any specific questions please let me know. Patricia

  2. says

    I just want to thank you for having created this website. I really feel blessed to come across this website. It is extraordinary and will shape my future. You know what? You made my day.


  1. […] to be able to see the big picture and understands how what the team is working toward affects church goals and strategy.  Through this lens the leader keeps the group focused on the team’s charter […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *