Five Reasons Why You Won’t Reach Your Goals This Year

It’s a brand new year, which means new goals and resolutions for most of us. We want to lose the weight we gained over the holidays, we want to spend more time with our family and less time in meetings, and if you’re a church leader, you want to see your church grow both spiritually and numerically this year. These are all great goals, and most of you are going to fail to achieve them.

I’m not trying to be the bearer of bad news, but someone needs to tell you the truth. More than likely, you’re going to give up on your resolutions way too early, and you’ll convince yourself your goals are a dream that will never come true. You’ll then resign yourself to thinking things will never change and you should just stop trying and save yourself the disappointment.

Sound familiar?

If it does, it’s because you have experienced this same cycle before. You get your hopes up, but it never seems to work out.

I want to help you change that. In order to do that, we have to avoid some common mistakes that keep us from reaching our goals.

  1. Not Writing Your Goals Down – Are goals really goals if you don’t write them down? They shouldn’t be. If you’re really serious about accomplishing something, take the time to write down exactly what your goal is. Then, put it in a place where you will see it often.
  2. Not Asking the Why – While you’re writing down your goals, take a few minutes and write down why you want to achieve them. You’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you have a reminder of why they are important to you. Simon Sinek wrote a great book on this concept called, Start with Why.
  3. Not Making the Necessary Changes – Goals don’t just magically get accomplished. If the church you serve had an attendance decline last year, it would be silly to think things are going to be different this year without making some changes. You don’t lose weight by eating the same things that made you gain it. What has to change?
  4. Not Staying Focused – Life is busy enough without the pressures of ministry. There are going to be all kinds of things that will knock you off track and make you want to give up. That’s why you have to review your goals, you have to review your why, and you have to stick to the changes you make.
  5. Not Asking for Help – If you’re a pastor trying to do ministry alone, you’re making a huge mistake. You need someone in ministry you can talk to, especially if you’re trying to initiate change in your church. One of the best decisions the church I serve ever made was bringing in an outside voice. They helped us identify issues we had missed and helped us create goals that would lead to growth.

What goals have you set for this year? What are you doing to make sure you accomplish them? If there’s any way I can help, please reach out to me by visiting my contact page and sending me a message. Let’s make this year a success.

Top Posts of 2018

It’s hard to believe this year has come to an end. For me, this has been a tough year in ministry. Some of the things I thought would happen didn’t. Some of the ideas I tried, didn’t work. Some of the steps we took, were in the wrong direction. While the church I serve saw some good things happen this year, we continue to believe and plan for better days ahead. If you can relate, I encourage you to subscribe to the blog, and while you’re here, take a look back at some of my most popular posts from 2018.

  1. 5 Reasons We Made the Switch from CCB to PCO
  2. 4 Phrases Every Pastor Should Say Every Sunday
  3. Seven People You Should Fire Today
  4. 4 Types of Pastoral Leadership
  5. 3 Facts about Small Town Churches
  6. Ten Preaching Mistakes You Should Avoid
  7. 5 Assumptions Your Church Should Make to Serve Guests Better
  8. Five Ministries Every Church Needs to be Good At
  9. Thoughts on Growing a Small Church
  10. Every Church Welcome Needs these 5 Elements

Need some help growing your church in 2019? I’d love to coach you. Send me an email and let’s chat.

One of the Biggest Mistakes Pastors Make

Who are you spending your time with? It’s a very important question, and one you need to answer honestly. Because your time is limited, who you spend it with matters more than you think. The mistake many small town pastors make is allowing the wrong people to take up the majority of their time.

I read a story a few years ago about a retail company that did the math and discovered that 5% of their customers were accounting for 80% of their customer service calls. To make matters worse, these same customers were accounting for less than 1% of their profit.

That sounds like a lot of small town churches. Eighty percent of the complaints come from five percent of the congregation, and typically that 5% are not giving or serving. Yet, we make the huge mistake of spending time with them.


As pastors, we want to make everyone happy, and most of us absolutely hate conflict. We think if we spend enough time with our critics, we can somehow make them understand.

Can I just tell you, that’s rarely the case. There are some people you are never going to make happy no matter how hard you try. I don’t even think they want to understand. I think in most circumstances, they just enjoy conflict.

So, let me encourage you to do the same thing this retail company did. They wrote a nice note letting these customers know they wouldn’t be able to help them anymore, and they helped them find somewhere else to take their business.

You should do something similar. The next time you get cornered by that same person who always has a complaint, let them know you love them, but they would probably be happier at another church.

Once you do this enough, you’ll find that you have way more time to spend with those people who are excited about the vision and want to help you accomplish it.

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it by giving it to the loudest voices. Be intentional about who you spend your time with. Invest in those who can help you make the church better, and encourage those who only want to complain to take their complaints somewhere else.

Who is the thorn in your side? What do they love complaining about? Leave a comment and get it off your chest. I promise you’ll feel better. And if you want to know more about turning around a struggling church, subscribe to the blog and get my new Ebook for free.