If you want your small group to grow, you need to challenge your members to set growth goals. Setting achievable goals will point your group in the right direction and challenge your members to stretch further, from their present best, to the next level of their growth potential in Christ. Remember: No goals, no growth! – It’s as simple as that.
In the eight years I served as the Small Groups Director at Maadi Community Church, Cairo, October was the annual ‘goal setting’ time for me. It was the time of the year when I had to turn my attention to working on producing budget figures for small groups operation and development in our church for the following financial year. In my first year, this task was quite easy to accomplish because we started with zero groups. However, each following year the Lord blessed our efforts with an amazing increase in the number of groups under our care (413 groups in eight years!). With this amazing growth came a mega challenge of setting a budget that would enable the development and growth of the groups to continue. This challenge involved every member on my senior leadership team.
After several team-discussions and much prayer, each of our ten Zone Directors (leaders of 1,000 small group members) would submit their goals and budget proposal for consideration and approval. After making minor adjustments, the job of calculating the financial budget would begin. In my final year at MCC, it took me seven working days to calculate a combined budget for our networks of small groups.
After submitting our growth goals and budget to the Business Manager I would leave feeling quite relieved, excited, and greatly expectant that our God would do even greater things in and through us the following year. The following goals is what I submitted:
- Small Groups: 469 (increase of 169)
- Members: 4,518 (increase of 1,518)
- New Believers: 620 (increase of 320)
- Daughter Churches: 2 (making 7 in total)
Please don’t misunderstand me; realistic goal setting, alone, does not achieve growth results. We must go further; we must commit all that we have within our stewardship control for the realisation of our goals, we need to walk and work closer with the Lord than ever before, and we need to be as diligent as we can – exercising faith and remaining confident at all times that we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength.
It saddens me to see groups in churches remaining the ‘same-old-same’, year after year, experiencing little or no apparent growth. The Lord expects us to grow! He loves growth, and, goal-setting is a responsible step in the process of experiencing growth. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about ‘human’ goals, but about ‘faith’ goals – goals that are inspired and sanctioned by the Lord.
Friends, shouldn’t we desire all that God has intended for us? How disappointing it would be to arrive in Heaven and realise we could have asked the Lord for more. Do the Scriptures not say to us, “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2), and, “He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope” (Ephesians 3:20)? Eight years running at MCC, by faith, we asked the Lord to increase our talents, and, each following year He did not disappoint us.
Remember: No goals – no growth! It’s as simple as that.