7 SMART Goals Examples for Churches or a Ministry

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Setting goals is an excellent way of developing in both a professional and spiritual sense.

Whether you're a regular churchgoer or a church or ministry leader, setting up clear goals to work towards can significantly enhance your overall church-going experience. One way of doing so is to implement the use of SMART goals.

This article will take a closer look at 7 SMART goals examples for churches or a ministry.

What Are SMART Goals?

When setting goals for a church or ministry, it's essential to be smart with how you go about it. However, it's also helpful to be SMART – an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let's look at each aspect of this method and how it can set smart goals for churches.


Being specific about your goals makes it easier to plan towards achieving them. For example, maybe you want to become a youth leader. Or perhaps, you want to organize a charity event at your church. Whatever it may be, getting more specific about your goal can help you structure a clear and concise plan to get there.

Being specific also means changing the way you set these goals. For example, instead of saying “I want to become a youth leader,” change this to “I will become a youth leader.”


Are your goals measured? How will you keep track of any progress that occurs?

If the goal of your church or ministry is to gain more attendees, it's a good idea to quantify this goal, so it's more attainable. For instance, saying “I would like to gain 30 new members by the end of this year” is an excellent example of setting a measurable goal.


When setting goals, it's essential to be realistic. For example, if you're part of a smaller church, expecting to gain hundreds of new attendees by the end of the year may not be a very achievable goal. Instead, you can focus on setting smaller goals that are easier to work towards. One way of doing so is to organize church events that could help attract more attendees. This could include charity events, youth groups, concerts, and more.


Keeping your mind on why you've set a goal in the first place can help motivate you to achieve it. In addition, a goal should have an impact on the bigger picture. For example, if you wish to gain more church or ministry attendees, it may be worth looking into advertising events and sermons through social media. Also, by ensuring your goals are relevant, you can organize your church lives according to your personal and family life.


Setting specific markers for achieving your goals can help turn them into reality. Implementing a timeframe into your church or ministry goals helps to motivate you by holding you directly responsible for the progress made. It's a good idea to have an overall goal for the end of the year that can be broken up into smaller goals. This way, you're more likely to achieve the end goal.

If you want to learn more about SMART goals, check out our “Ultimate Guide to Smart Goals.”

Why SMART Goals Are Important for Churches and Ministries

Churches and ministries are always looking for more ways to grow and attract more people towards a relationship with God. Any goals associated with the church or ministry should move the organization forward as a whole. This usually means increasing attendees and raising money for things such as church/ministry renovations or rent.

Implementing SMART goals into your church or ministry makes it more likely that you will see change take place. Not only that, but the SMART method is guaranteed to help increase motivation and organization and ultimately ensure success.

Let's look at seven examples of SMART goals for churches and ministries.

7 SMART Goals Examples for Churches and Ministries

1. Organize Events to Attract More People

“Every month, I will alternate between church or ministry leaders to organize various events in the church to attract more people. These events can range from bake sales to small concerts. I hope to see an increase of 100 members in six months.”

S: The goal highlights how this person plans to attract more followers.

M: The aim is to increase the church following by 100 members.

A: This is a realistic aim and very achievable.

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Churches and ministries are always looking for more ways to grow and attract more people towards a relationship with God.

R: This goal demonstrates a sense of proactiveness within the church. Besides, hosting regular events increases the church's visibility, making it more likely for people to join.

T: A time frame of six months has been set to achieve the goal of an additional 100 members.

2. Conduct Weekly Training Sessions for New Leaders

“I will put in place weekly training sessions for new leaders. I will allow them to lead one youth group a week and observe them to mark their progress. I aim to train a minimum of 30 new leaders in a year.”

S: This person clearly highlights how they will train new church leaders.

M: The result is to train at least 30 new leaders by the end of the year.

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This is a relevant goal, particularly for becoming church or ministry leaders.

T: This goal is aimed to be completed in up to a year from when it begins.

3. Set Annual Spending Budget

“I will set an annual spending budget for the church based on figures from past years to focus on fixing parts of the church. I will save $3,000 within a year by putting aside $250 a month through regular events. This money will be put towards church maintenance.”

S: The goal is to budget for church maintenance and conduct events to raise money.

M: This person wants to save $3,000 in a year by saving a monthly amount of $250 from church events.

A: This aim is achievable.

R: This goal is relevant, as it will help maintain the church space.

T: This is an example of a time-bound SMART goal. This person aims to save $3,000 in 12 months.

4. Manage the Church's Social Media

“I will take over the social media of my church and ensure that I post regular and relevant content, highlighting any upcoming services and events. In addition, I will keep people engaged by sending weekly newsletters that pose questions and start conversations. I will also reach out to first-time members through social media to increase loyalty. By these means, I aim to increase our church attendance by 20% in six months. Every six months, a review will take place to monitor results.”

S: This goal states explicitly that the aim is to increase the number of church attendees through social media.

M: This person aims to increase church membership by 20%.

A: This goal is achievable.

R: Social media is an integral part of modern life. The church or ministry can stay relevant and gain new members by getting online.

T: This goal has been set for six months. However, this can also be seen as a lifelong goal as the results will be reviewed every six months and then continue.

5. Organize Weekly Youth Groups

“Starting Monday, I will organize weekly youth groups at my church to attract more young people to the church. I will set a different theme weekly and pick a person to deliver a presentation to keep the youth interested. Through maintaining contact on social media and hosting regular events, I aim to increase the number of youth group members by at least 10 by the end of the month.”

S: This goal aims to get more young people interested in church.

M: The goal is to set up weekly youth groups at the church.

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Setting goals is an excellent way of developing in both a professional and spiritual sense.

A: This goal is achievable.

R: Getting young people involved is crucial for many churches and ministries. By focusing on weekly youth groups, the likelihood of younger generations becoming interested in the church increases significantly.

T: The time frame of this goal is to have more members by the end of the month.

6. Reach Out with 48 Hours

“When someone visits the church or ministry for the first time, I will aim to reach out to them within 48 hours. I will politely ask them for their email address and phone number upon arrival. I will then send an email and text message encouraging them to return. Using this method, I aim to increase church attendance. At the end of the year, I will compare numbers from previous years to measure whether this technique is effective.”

S: This person's end goal is to increase the number of attendees at church by reaching out to first-time members.

M: The goal is to analyze the technique by comparing the number of attendees from previous years when the year is up.

A: This is an achievable goal.

R: This method is likely to increase the church's visibility overall. By directly contacting new members, the church can build a relationship with them and promote their worship place.

T: This person sets a 48-hour window for contacting new members. Additionally, an annual review will take place to go over this method.

7. Take Part in Community Events

“I will increase the church's visibility by taking part in at least three community events a year. Then, at the end of each year, I will assess how much church attendance has grown.”

S: This goal aims to increase the church's visibility and thus potentially gain more members.

M: The goal will be verified at the year's end when looking at how many new members have joined.

A: This is certainly an achievable goal.

R: Contributing to the community is a sure-fire way of increasing a church's visibility. Not only that, but the more a church partakes in community events, the more likely it is that members will join.

T: The church has set a minimum of three community events to take part in annually.

Final Thoughts on SMART Goals Examples for Churches or a Ministry

Setting SMART goals for your church or ministry is an excellent way of ensuring that the objectives are met. Although typically associated with professional growth, setting goals for your church or ministry development can help improve many aspects of your congregation's spiritual experience.

If you're interested in setting goals for your church or ministry, take a closer look at the seven example SMART goals for churches and ministries we have in this article and apply them to your individual situation.

And if you want more SMART goal ideas and examples, be sure to check out these blog posts:

Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.

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