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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 20, 2018

Parson to Person - Setting goals to reach for

By REV. TREY HEGAR, First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant | Nov 20, 2015

Goals are important in life. Athlete’s score goals. Companies set goals. We aim at goals. They serve as markers of progress and growth. You win by reaching and/or making goals.

The church I serve, First Presbyterian, here in Mt. Pleasant, has been growing and we want to grow more. What church doesn’t? Right? So I asked what does it look like for a church to grow. Well, there are some obvious answers. We can grow numerically in membership by making disciples for Christ. We can grow in service projects to show the love of God. We can also grow in tithing and giving to fund the ministries of the church, as well as local and global ministries. These are typical areas in which churches seek to grow. We set goals for these growth areas and started achieving them.

However, as we began working toward these goals, it became obvious that we needed personal goals, too.

I felt that in order to grow as a corporate body of Christ, we must grow as individual parts of that body. So, I researched another question. What are goals for your personal growth? For a person of faith, goals of personal growth are four-fold. We need to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Spiritual growth focuses on God. Spiritual growth then means to become more aware and present with the divine and holy in one’s daily life. Emotional growth focuses on our relational interactions inside ourselves and with others. Growing emotionally can look like showing ourselves the love of God and not berating ourselves. It can also look like learning to be a non-anxious person, instead of getting wound up and lashing out at others. This takes a lifetime of work in the other areas of spiritual, physical, and intellectual work. Physical growth focuses on the body. It is important because the body is the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells. Physical goals can be as simple as losing weight or as big as running a marathon. These goals help us feel good.

Intellectual growth focuses on the mind. It helps us stay sharp. Exercising the brain helps us stay sharp. This can look like learning new things with a hobby like guitar, piano or knitting. It can look like reading to learn more about God or going back to study trigonometry to exercise the brain. Astronomy could be spiritual and intellectual.

As you set and reach these goals, you may find that you feel like you are winning. Doesn’t everyone like to win? Sometimes just playing is fun even if you don’t reach the goal.

What goals will you set for yourself to improve spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually?

What goals can you set for your family, business, non-profit or church? Whatever goals you set, aim high.

May God bless you as you grow.

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