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Leadership's Top 40: #34

Why I Don't Set Goals

A purposeful leader explains his unorthodox approach.
Why I Don't Set Goals

We are highlighting Leadership Journal's Top 40, the best articles of the journal's 36-year history, presenting them in chronological order. Today we present #35, from 1984.

"What are your primary goals for the immediate and long-range future?" The question came from the audience at one of our annual Pastors' Seminars.

"I have none," I replied.

Dubious stares and blank looks everywhere. I continued, "We never set goals—that is, in the sense of numerical targets, fund-raising drives, or enlargement campaigns. Our one goal is to build big people. Every effort goes into developing each believer in the threefold ministry of worship, fellowship, and stewardship of the gospel."

And I was telling the truth. From the time I came to the Van Nuys church fifteen years ago, I virtually abandoned the church methodology I had used the previous thirteen years. I knew the quotes ("Aim at nothing, and you'll hit it," "No vision, ...

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