We all want to grow. We all want to get better at our job, our ministry, our calling. Although the desire to grow is common, actual growth is not so common. I think one of the main reasons we fail to move from intention to actual growth is because we don’t set clear, definable goals.
Vague intentions almost never take us to a desired destination. It’s not enough to identify an area that needs attention. We then need to ask God for a vision of what it will be like to achieve the desired growth in this area. When you define the goal, write it down, describe the benefits, and trust God to take you there.
Many people struggle with the description of the goal because they’re afraid the price they’ll have to pay isn’t worth it. It is worth it! The best encouragement to move forward is a clear picture of the finish line. Go into detail. How will your ministry look? How will your family relationships benefit? How will you experience financial peace and freedom? How will you take advantage of new opportunities?
If you can define and describe your goal in writing, you’re well on your way to achieving it. A good plan is essential. Solomon wrote, “A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it” (Proverbs 13:16 NLT).
Once you set the goal and write it down. Then, define manageable steps toward your goal. Some of us quit because the task seems too big, too challenging, and too hard. If we break it into reachable steps, we can make remarkable progress. We can be naïve about what it takes to change.
Enthusiasm is a good beginning, but it won’t take us very far on its own. I know. I’ve tried. If I had tried to get up early each morning, start a workout routine, read a hundred books a year, read the Bible through every month, and pray two hours a day, I’d have gotten pretty discouraged! We need to have big goals but manageable steps toward those goals.