13 SMART Goals Examples for Pastors

As the spiritual leader of a church, it’s your responsibility to ensure your congregation is growing and thriving in their faith. That’s why pastors must set goals to guide their church in the right direction.

By using the SMART template, pastors can finally focus on achievable targets that will lead to success. These goals allow you to meet the specific outcomes you want to achieve.

Below, we have provided 13 examples of SMART goals for pastors. But first, let’s look at what SMART goals are.

What is a SMART Goal?

When planning pastoral goals, it’s crucial to align them with the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) framework.

Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of SMART:

  • Specific: Be as clear and detailed as possible when setting pastoral goals. The more specific your overall aim, the easier it is to take the necessary steps to reach it.
  • Measurable: Ensure your pastoral goals are quantifiable. That will make it easier to track your progress and know when you’ve met your target.
  • Attainable: Your pastoral goals should be challenging but attainable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your core values and the mission of your ministry. It will keep you motivated and ensure your objectives are meaningful to your work.
  • Time-based: Establish a deadline for accomplishing church success. A time-bound goal will inspire you to start taking action and prevent procrastination.

Following these 5 SMART principles will streamline your pastoral planning process. You’ll be better equipped to guide your ministry in the direction that best serves your congregation.

13 SMART Goals Examples for Pastors

1. Increase Congregational Engagement

“We want to increase congregation participation and engagement in church services by 20% over the next 6 months. To do so, we plan to hand out flyers in the community and organize bible study groups.”

Specific: This goal is to increase church service participation over 6 months.

Measurable: Measure the rate of congregation participation before and after implementing the initiatives mentioned in this goal.

Attainable: Increasing engagement by 20% is feasible with the methods of promotion outlined in this goal.

Relevant: Higher congregation participation ensures a growing, vibrant church community.

Time-based: There is a 6-month end date for this particular church goal.

2. Enhance Worship Experiences

“For the following three months, I’ll strive to improve my church’s worship services by introducing new musical instruments, themes, and sermon topics. I will also train a few volunteers to lead prayers and songs.”

Specific: The SMART goal is explicit because the pastor will try to implement new musical instruments, sermon topics, and themes in their church’s worship services.

Measurable: Keep track of how each service goes with these changes present and ask for feedback from members on what could be improved.

Attainable: Enhancing your church’s worship experiences is possible if you make the necessary changes and get the help of volunteers to lead prayers and songs.

Relevant: This is relevant as it aims to improve the worship services of a church, which is an integral part of any religious organization.

Time-based: The pastor has a time limit of three months to achieve success.

3. Create a Culture of Generosity

“The pastor will be able to foster an atmosphere of generosity in their congregation by the end of 7 months. They want to be able to encourage their church members to donate money and other resources for the good of those in need.”

Specific: The goal provides information on nurturing a culture of generosity and when it should be accomplished.

Measurable: Monitor the progress of the pastor’s efforts in encouraging generosity among church members.

Attainable: With 7 months, this goal is possible given that enough effort is put into creating a culture of giving.

Relevant: Generosity should be encouraged within any community, especially churches.

Time-based: You have a 7-month window for goal completion.

4. Strengthen Ties With Local Communities

“In the next 6 months, I’ll initiate conversations and build relationships with four local community organizations. This will help me reach out to new individuals needing spiritual guidance and strengthen our church’s presence there.”

Specific: This statement involves building relationships with four local organizations.

Measurable: It is possible to count how many conversations have been initiated with organizations.

Attainable: Having four meaningful conversations in 6 months is absolutely doable.

Relevant: Strengthening ties with local communities and reaching out to people applies to a pastor’s job.

Time-based: Achievement of this goal is expected after 6 whole months.

5. Expand Youth Programming

“I hope to expand the church’s youth programming by planning at least three monthly activities. I will also develop relationships with local businesses and organizations to assist in creating an engaging environment for our teens.”

Specific: The goal is clear: expanding the church’s youth programming and developing relationships with local businesses or organizations.

Measurable: Ensure at least three youth activities are planned every month.

Attainable: It’s possible to organize events and find partners to promote an engaging environment for the youth.

Relevant: Expanding the church’s youth programming and developing relationships with local businesses or organizations is essential to keep teens engaged in their faith.

Time-based: Success will be assessed monthly after producing three activities.

6. Foster Servant-Leadership Model

“I’ll create three opportunities next month to foster a servant-leadership model within my congregation. That means I will actively seek ways to serve, show humility, and lead by example.”

Specific: Create opportunities geared toward showing humility and leading by example.

Measurable: This can be quantified by the number of opportunities created.

Attainable: Identifying and creating opportunities to foster leadership in one month is feasible.

Relevant: The SMART goal aligns with the pastor’s overall purpose of forming a servant-leadership model in his congregation.

Time-based: One whole month is the timeline for this particular statement.

7. Improve Church Communications

“I will improve the church’s communication by developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, launching an email newsletter, and increasing our social media presence. I aim to reach a larger audience over the 5 months ahead.”

Specific: The aim is evident as it explicitly states how to improve communications for the church.

Measurable: Determine the number of new followers and subscribers following regularly.

Attainable: Make sure you follow the listed steps in order to reach a larger audience.

Relevant: This goal is appropriate as it directly addresses improving church communications.

Time-based: Goal attainment should be accomplished in 5 months.

8. Grow Financial Stewardship

“I want to increase the amount of financial stewardship by 10% over the next 8 months. I will create a set of classes on budgeting that our church members can attend and invest in their personal financial growth.”

Specific: The pastor wants to boost financial stewardship by 10% within 8 months.

Measurable: By tracking donations to the church compared to the same period from the prior year, we can determine whether financial stewardship has increased by 10%.

Attainable: Creating classes on budgeting can help our members better understand how to manage their finances.

Relevant: Financial stewardship should be encouraged and nurtured to ensure the church’s continued success.

Time-based: There is an 8-month timeline for reaching this SMART goal.

9. Deepen Spiritual Connections


“By the end of this quarter, I will have made a point to deepen my spiritual connections with 10 church members. I’ll list each member I plan to connect with and write down the date, time, and type of interaction for each meeting.”

Specific: You have specific actions in place: schedule meetings with 10 church members.

Measurable: Track the number of people you’ve connected with over the quarter.

Attainable: Pastors should have no problem connecting with at least 10 people in the provided timeline.

Relevant: Deepening personal connections is a vital part of being a pastor.

Time-based: You want to accomplish success within the three-month quarter.

10. Expand Bible Study Group

“I want to double the size of my Bible study group and bring in new members by the end of the year. I will create an online presence for the group by setting up a website and social media profiles to reach out to more people.”

Specific: This states what must be done, how it will be met, and the time frame.

Measurable: You can check the group’s growth by seeing how many new members join over a period.

Attainable: Since it is possible to create an online presence for a Bible study group and reach out to more people, this goal can be achieved.

Relevant: This goal is essential to expanding the reach of the Bible study group.

Time-based: Pastors have set a timeline of one year to accomplish the goal.

11. Promote Mental Health Wellness

“I’ll make an effort to improve the mental wellness of my congregation for three months by organizing meditation sessions for members in need and proactively engaging with them to address any mental health issues they may be facing.”

Specific: The pastor has a plan to improve the mental wellness of their congregation.

Measurable: Note how many members have participated in meditation sessions and whom you’ve contacted.

Attainable: This is a possible goal since it specifies what steps the pastor should take to reach excellence.

Relevant: Improving the mental health of his congregation is crucial for the pastor as a leader.

Time-based: There is a three-month deadline for this goal statement.

12. Increase Volunteerism Opportunities

“I want to coordinate and host three volunteer projects within my church community over the following year. I plan to contact local charitable organizations to identify areas of need, recruit volunteers for each project, and arrange the necessary resources.”

Specific: The person has planned to coordinate and host three volunteer projects within their church community.

Measurable: Count the volunteers recruited, contact local organizations, and set up resources for each project.

Attainable: The individual can realistically arrange three volunteer projects in a year.

Relevant: Coordinating and hosting volunteer projects is a meaningful way to serve the church community.

Time-based: You should aim to complete this particular goal after one year.

13. Develop Congregational Resiliency

“I want to create programs and activities to address congregational resiliency for the three months ahead. That way, I can encourage congregants to practice stress management and self-care.”

Specific: This outlines what you must do (create programs and activities for resiliency) and how long you should do it (three months).

Measurable: You could count the number of programs and activities created.

Attainable: Developing programs and activities are doable in the timespan given.

Relevant: Programs and activities that promote resiliency build a healthier congregational life.

Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated for the next three months.

Final Thoughts

SMART is an effective tool to help pastors reach their desired results. By establishing goals that align with the 5 components, pastors can ensure they stay on track and reach their milestones on time.

Realize that SMART goal setting keeps the pastor’s vision at the forefront of all ministry decisions. This process enables pastors to build stronger relationships with their congregation and contribute to a brighter future for the church.

Pastors can focus on their purpose and provide valuable insight for their church. They will foster a meaningful experience that leads to successful outcomes.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.