10 Steps to Goal-Setting Part 1

by | Aug 21, 2018 | Church Leadership

#1 Start With Prayer

A few years I read a little book by Catherine Marshall titled The Adventure of Prayer and I’ll never forget one thing she wrote. She said, “Dreaming is praying.” I think she’s right. In my experience, the more I pray the more dream.

Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming. And as Catherine Marshall says, “There is no limit to what this combination of dreams and prayer can achieve.”

Let me tell you how I came up with my list of 100+ life goals. It started six years ago when National Community Church held its first Inward Bound Retreat. We went up to Rocky Gap Lodge and one of our breakouts was set aside for setting goals. I remember walking out to a cliff that overlooks the Cumberland valley and I started dreaming. But here is the key. I did it in the context of prayer. And I walked away from that retreat with my first life goal list. I think I came up with about fifty life goals.

Over the years I’ve worked on that list off and on, but I got really serious about it last year.

We did a ten-day Pentecost Fast. And I decided that I would use those ten days of prayer and fasting to add, subtract, and upgrade my list. I wanted to make sure I was setting goals in the context of prayer.

Let me say upfront that if all you do is set selfish goals then you’d be a better person if you don’t accomplish them. I don’t want to manufacture a bunch of goals. This is not a self-help message about how to make your dreams come true. Goal setting is a stewardship issue. It is making the most of the time, talent, and resources God has given you.

A great way to jump-start the process would be to take a personal retreat.

I have a little formula: Change of pace + change of place = change of perspective. You need to get out of your routine. Get away by yourself or with your spouse. And start dreaming about what you want your life to be like in ten or twenty or fifty years.

Start with prayer!

Next week we will look at Step 2 in this goal setting blog series.

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Mark Batterson

Mark serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, DC. One church with 10 services in six locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations. Read More About Mark Batterson At His Author Page