How to Create Long-Term Goals for a New Church

In what practical ways can you lead your church from short-term to sustainable long-term goals? Read on.

Can you watch the horizon and the ground in front of you at the same time?

You must, if you would benefit from long-range planning. Eyes on the horizon keep you focused on your mission. Meanwhile, careful “next steps” avoid obstacles and exploit opportunities.

Long-range planning is necessary for any organization. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll never know if you hit it. Vision will remain just that—a vision. Short term, eyes-on-the-ground stuff fabricates reality from vision. But how do you unite the long and short term?

We’ve learned to connect the planning dots this way: We set 20-year goals, then cut them into bite size chunks. We simply divide the 20-year goals by two to get 10-year markers. Divide again and we have a reasonable set of five-year goals. Cutting those into five measurable pieces paves a path from the present to the future. To climb Mtm Everest, you need to know the location of the camps and when you should arrive at each one.  

Goals for a New Church

Planning is easy till you do it—especially in a new church.

We’re three months into a new church. Excitement abounds, and we’re growing on all fronts. This weekend, we gather team captains to create our first, true, annual calendar and budget.

Our mission is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We know that this is from God because it comes from the Word.

This may be our most crucial meeting in a year. A weak foundation risks much. The first “one-year-plan” must reflect our overall mission and lead in a direction pointing clearly toward where we want to be in 2033.

Our core team agrees that we need firm 20-year goals before heading into the meeting. The problem here is that we have a pastor (me) who is big on mission, but struggles to codify goals. So after prayer, we set these three goals:

1. Plant 30 “organic” churches. (Pastored by people we discipled from within our ranks.)

2. Build spiritually reproductive DNA in every church plant. Each church plant comes out of the box intent on planting others.

3. Establish a strong church planting presence in three countries. (We can identify two of them, while we’re praying for a third.)

Pages: 1 2

Ralph Moore is the founding pastor of both Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach, Calif., and Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Beginning with just 12 people in 1971, the fruit of this ministry now spans over 700 churches around the world. Many of the churches run several generations deep as each succeeding pastor raises disciples, releasing them to the harvest. Ralph travels extensively, teaching pastors and church leaders the biblical models for healing the nations, spreading the Gospel and church planting.