A businessman was having a terrible time getting anything accomplished. Distractions plagued him. At the end of the day, he faced a pile of unfinished work and felt like a failure.

So the businessman hired a consultant who charged him a cool million then gave him a piece of organizational advice that solved all his problems. “Set goals,” said the consultant. “Put your goals on the calendar and each day make a list of mini-goals you need to accomplish to meet your main goals. Everything else comes second.”

Ever felt like this businessman? I have. As Christian leaders, we fight an uphill battle all fronts and it is easy to get burned out.

St. Paul describes our efforts as a race against time through an obstacle course to accomplish one main goal: the high calling of God to become like Christ (Hebrews 12) — obedient, faithful, patient, self-controlled, etc. It is easy to get distracted. And tired.

We plan programs, meetings, and Bible studies all the time. Those are important, but beware: Work for Jesus can distract us from the all-important target of becoming like Jesus. With the prize of becoming more like Christ in view, we need to set mini-goals to help us reach this.

What mini-goals can we set to become a spiritual champion and win “the prize that is set before us?”

  • You become like the company you keep so set a mini-goal of daily time alone with Jesus.

Isaiah rose early in the morning to seek the Lord. Daniel prayed three times a day. Jesus went alone to the mountains, and afterwards, could walk on water. As a leader, you MUST establish a daily pattern of time alone with God and make it at least as important as eating.

  • Study the Word by memorizing portions of it.

If you consider memorization an old-fashioned idea, reread Psalms 1, the Psalm of spiritual champions. It and other scriptures emphasis the transforming spiritual experience gained by memorization or hiding the Word in the heart for further meditation. The Word is the Bread of Life or refreshment for weary souls. Eat it. Thoroughly digest it.

  • Set a personal growth goal with an accountability partner.

Your personal growth goal might be to ripen spiritual fruit, such as develop more self-control by fasting one day a week. Or to stir up a spiritual gift, such as evangelism by exploring and practicing witnessing. Spiritual growth goals can be so difficult to quantify that some will not even try. But just by focusing on becoming more like Jesus in a certain area, you will bring progress. Find another woman mature in her faith (Titus 2) to disciple you, to tell you the truth about yourself in love and pray with you that you might be healed (James 5).

Let me encourage you to prayerfully practice these mini-goals as you push toward the main goal: to become like Jesus. Don’t miss out on the unimaginably great prize God has in store for women who cross the finish line while inspiring others to run with them.

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Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments, reprint requests or speaking engagements at rebekahmontgomery.com© Rebekah Montgomery 2007