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Set the Goal. Reach the Goal. Repeat

In every race, the runner races for a prize.

If you walked out into the street and suddenly saw hundreds of people running down the road all marked with numbers, and they started inviting you to run with them, how motivated would you be to join the race? Mind you, you have no idea where they are going, how long the race will be, or what the prize is, if any.

Would you be inclined to join the race at all?

Let’s say you did join... how motivated would you be to win if you weren’t sure why people were running in the first place?

Now let’s restart the scenario and say that you stepped outside to a stream of people racing down the street, and someone yelled, “First place wins eight-million dollars! Finish-line, two blocks away!” Would you be more motivated to run?

The Christian life is a race. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

To run with endurance, we need to have our eyes fixed on the prize. As servants of the Most High, our prize is our King, Jesus, and spending eternity with Him. Our hope is that when we see Him, we will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant,” but we must be sober minded and understand that not everyone will hear these words, but only those who “do the will of the Father.” We must then be diligent to understand the goal, and how to reach it.

The #NoPlaceLeft Goal

When you consider what it means to be pastor, minister, evangelist, or bible study leader, what is your goal? If you have no goal, or if you're unsure how to reach your goal, you might end up like the bystander who walks out into a mysterious race; no idea where you’re going and no motivation to win.

Though you may very specific goals for ministry, our common overarching goal must always be to see:

  • The fullness of Christ formed in each person (Ephesians 4:13).

  • Justice established (Psalm 89:14).

  • The gospel reaching every nation (Matthew 24:14).

I am a member of the No Place Left movement ( No Place Left is an international group of mission minded individuals tied with the common goal of sharing the gospel till there is no place left. The #NoPlaceLeft movement has firmly centered the coming of Christ and the need for all to hear as the goal they run for. The following description of the #NoPlaceLeft is taken from their home page:

#NoPlaceLeft is a movement of movements aimed at getting to no place left where Christ is not made known in our generation. We do this by reproducing disciples, churches, & leaders among the lost until there is no place left.

This clear vision statement gives purpose to their efforts and unites them in a common goal. It also provides the necessary focal point to continue running the race.

So, what does it mean for us to minister the gospel until there is #NoPlaceLeft?

In Romans 15:19 Paul writes, “in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

Paul stayed and ministered in the areas from Jerusalem to Illyricum to the point where he could confidently say that he had reached every area with the gospel. Our goal as ambassadors of Christ, is to fully proclaim the gospel to our families, our friends, our coworkers, our neighborhoods, and our city. We must work not just for awesome worship teams, and fun bible studies, but for the reaching of the lost in our area. We have each been gifted by God with a talent, and He will soon return to see what interest, if any, that talent has bore for Him.

If we started addressing ministry according to the goals set forth in the scripture and gave ourselves concrete reasons for our ministry, how would that change the way we minister? I want to challenge you to really consider where God has placed you, and to ask God to reveal to you an appropriate vision for your area.

Establishing Your Goal

Whatever mission field has been granted to us, we must be diligent to plow, sow, and water with our hopes set on the harvest. In every work and mission field, we must remind ourselves that we are a small part of the overall work that Christ is doing among the nations: declaring the gospel and raising up the church until there is no place left.

As we consider how to best approach and organize our ministry, we must first establish our goal, and work down to a practical level, step by step, until we have a clear, realistic, and achievable vision.

For example, a college student might address preparing for their ministry in the following way:

Goal: Reach the Entire Campus with the Gospel

---Secondary Goal: Share the gospel with one student a day (minimum).


  1. Pray and seek the Lord for direction.

  2. Set a daily or weekly person worship time in a dorm.

  3. Share the gospel with roommate(s) and invite into worship time.

  4. Share the gospel with everyone in the dorm/apartment complex.

  5. Pray for and establish helpers/leaders for ministry (possibly start multiple worship times or find larger space).

  6. Start reaching the next dorm.

  7. Replicate process at that dorm.

  8. Have one bible study in every dorm.

  9. Reach every dorm with the gospel.

  10. Leave behind a format for leaders to continue what was started and for the growth to continue to next generations.

This breakdown starts with an overall goal, preaching the gospel to every student. In a small enough context, this is not a unachievable goal, however, in larger contexts, this may be entirely too vague, and you may need a more a achievable goal, or at the very least a break down of smaller goals that will ultimately build up to that overarching goal.

After establishing the main goal, we need to begin on the floor level by addressing what can be done immediately to start that process (should always be personal prayer and worship time). This is an immediately actionable step 1. Next we move onto the next reasonable steps to inch closer to the main goal.

In this scenario, it would be to share the gospel with those who are closest and most accessible to the student by inviting them to study the word and worship together. After creating a plan to reach and invite other students nearby, and forming a small gathering, we can begin to envision what it would look like to reach a greater sphere of influence; in this scenario it would be reaching the entire dorm.

After reaching one entire dorm, or whatever your initial sphere of influence might be, we can grow but planning to train up whoever God has given us to help reach the next dorm/sphere of influence, thus establishing new relationships and bible studies, and thereby growing the Kingdom on campus. Ideally, we would then have to create a format for growing leadership to continue this process until we reached the entire campus in this fashion, and thereby executing our goal.

This type of influence, leadership development, and church growth doesn’t happen so quickly or easily, however, having a plan and a strategy that walks us from where we are to where we are going (our goal) is the first step to achieving the goal. From there, we work the process, and at each step we can create a similar, sub-list of goals and action plans to reach each step along the way.

For example, let's say, in the above scenario, we suddenly have a worship meeting in our dorm. It’s an apartment style dorm, and we have five people from our apartment meeting with us plus one from the neighboring apartment complex. We want to start an additional meeting in the neighboring apartment complex as well and teach everyone involved to start sharing the gospel and inviting people in. However, none of them are yet ready to lead a bible study on their own. We need a plan to developing new leaders and ready them for multiplication.

At this point, we would simply take step 5 from our strategic plan, and create a whole new sub-plan to meet that goal. Once again the strategic plan in this scenario is as follows:

Goal: Reach the Entire Campus with the Gospel

---Secondary Goal: Share the gospel with one student a day (minimum).


  1. Pray and seek the Lord for direction.

  2. Set a daily or weekly person worship time in a dorm.

  3. Share the gospel with roommate(s) and invite into worship time.

  4. Share the gospel with everyone in the dorm/apartment complex.

  5. Pray for and establish helpers/leaders for ministry (possibly start multiple worship times or find larger space).

  6. Start reaching the next dorm.

  7. Replicate process at that dorm.

  8. Have one bible study in every dorm.

  9. Reach every dorm with the gospel.

  10. Leave behind a format for leaders to continue what was started and for the growth to continue to next generations.

So, in order to move into step 6 "Reaching the Next Dorm," we first need to prepare leaders for ministry, which is step 5. To have a clear plan to accomplish this goal, we are going to create a new sub-list, with Step 5 as our goal, and establish a step-by-step plan to accomplish that goal.

Goal #5: Pray for and establish helpers/leaders for ministry (start new worship services).

  1. Pray and seek the Lord.

  2. Gather select leaders for an additional leadership time.

  3. Establish leadership training (Bible study, practice, T4T, etc).

  4. MAWL

  5. (Model) We are modeling the process for them when they see us lead.

  6. (Assist) Start giving leaders opportunities to lead.

  7. (Watch) Have them lead their own independent service and be present to watch, help, and/or offer feedback a few times..

  8. (Launch) Continue to meet with them in a leadership group as they grow and minister to their group.

  9. Set up a weekly or monthly meeting for corporate worship (or have a campus ministry that everyone attends together as well).

Obviously, if you don't have a training program, you will need an additional step, which would be to find one. That could be an online resource, or meeting with other leaders and asking for their thoughts. Our best resources would be to contact us at and getting 1-on-1 coaching, access to leadership and multiplication resources for your ministry, and/or joining the Living Word Bible School asking for the class entitled, "Multiplying the Kingdom."

But there are plenty of other resources too.

This sub-goal strategic plan may take quite a while, and it may be months before the leaders are equipped and running their own worship services and making their own disciples. So the transition from one goal to the next may take additional time and planning, but creating a sub-goal or sub-plan will eventually streamline us back into the overall goal of reaching the entire campus. Having these goals established ahead of time helps us to not become lax in any certain area of our development and keeps us aligned with our mission and always moving back towards the “true goal.”

Use the above examples and thoughtfully and prayerfully write out your mission and strategic plan, step by step. Make sure to check back often to realign your thoughts and plans and to edit your strategic steps as needed.

Remembering the True Goal

In ministry, there are fun times and not-so-fun times; we are called to walk through both times with equal diligence to pursue No Place Left and to fulfill the Great Commission.

Believe it or not, it's actually the good times that can be more dangerous.

Unlike the bad times, our good times are comfortable and pleasing, and Satan will always tempt us to rest in a “small goal” in order to keep us from fulfilling the true goal. In this example, the true goal is reaching the entire campus for Christ.

Remembering our true goal is imperative to withstanding the pulls of the flesh and the temptations of the devil. We do this by setting goals, making plans, and revisiting them often. When we have an established trajectory and know what our next steps are, we are able to be both faithful in the “now” and conscious of the “next.”

This consciousness of what lies next is what helps us shape and mold our decisions in the “now” in a way that produces what is necessary for the “next.” Let's go back to our example of reaching our college campus. What if we had the same goal, to share the gospel with the entire campus, but we started without a plan; it would be easy to see some growth in our initial worship service and continue planning to make “great worship services” and never move on to really reaching those around us. It would be very easy to think we needed more numbers and better music because we didn't have a well-defined “next,” rather than knowing that we need to start a leadership meeting in addition to our worship service so that we will be able to multiply and reach the next apartment complex.

Having a well-defined plan of action connects our “now” to our “next” and keeps us on-track to our “true goal.”If we had not first defined our true goal and our sub-goals in an action plan, then it would be easy to get lost along the way or to stop short of the prize.

Being well-prepared and well-disciplined is essential to winning any competition, and our race to heaven is no different. At each moment we must “forget what lies behind,” and “press on towards our call heavenward.”

Regardless of what your mission field is, whether a college campus, high school, work place, or neighborhood, the above platform for creating an action plan leading up to our true goal is essential to being successful and fruitful. For us all, in all our various gifts, callings, and fields, we must remember that our true prize, our true goal is in heaven with Christ; we must be at work doing the will of the Father and praying without ceasing to walk in His wisdom and ultimately hear those words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Creating Your Own Action-Plan

Step 1: Define Your Goal

  • Maybe this is a big goal, that you will break down into separate goals with several action-plans or maybe you have a clear central focus on what's in front of you.

Step 2: Define Any Secondary Goals (Maybe a daily or weekly challenge to keep you on track)

Step 3: With your goal set, what is the very first thing that absolutely needs to get done to start the process towards achieving it? Write that down.

Step 4: Follow that step with every sensible step that follows after bridging you from step 1 to the GOAL.

Step 5: Create a new action-plan for any step that needs additional planning, research, or development.

Step 6: START! Nothing beats going out there and doing the work!

Step 7: Check back on your plan often to check yourself on track and to make edits as needed.

Step 8: Meet your goal, rejoice, and move to the next one! Keeping moving and growing as the Lord allows and reach the world with the gospel until the whole world hears!

Have a goal you're preparing to meet? Take a photo of your action plan and share it with us! Send a picture of your action a plan and a picture of yourself (optional) to with a description of what your working towards and you might just end up featured on our social media accounts! God bless!

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