35 Spiritual Goal Examples for Christian Growth

If you want to grow in your walk with God, having a general goal, like “improve my prayer life”, is a great starting point. But, it really helps to have a more specific, actionable goal to work towards. These 35 spiritual goal examples will give you some great ideas!

spiritual goal examples for Christian growth

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I think there are two sides of the spiritual growth ‘coin’: First, there’s the effort we put into growing. But then secondly, there’s the miraculous work that God does within us, through our efforts, but also our circumstances, our struggles and so forth.

And we need both!

Have you ever noticed, that when you try too hard on your own power, you fail miserably? But then sometimes, you grow spiritually over time in small ways that only God could be responsible for?

I’ve definitely seen that in my own life! I guess what I’m really trying to say, is that all the Christian goal setting in the world won’t get you anywhere, without God in the picture. It’s when we seek God, lean on Him, and partner with Him in our efforts to grow, that we’ll see amazing things happen.

So with that being said, our first step in setting smart goals for spiritual growth, is simply to be intentional. To set good goals, pray about them, make good effort, and lean on God throughout the process. It’s not about being perfect, but rather relying on God’s grace as we grow.

35 Spiritual Goal Examples for Christian Growth

So, what are some spiritual goals that we should be aiming for? God’s Word gives us many great spiritual goal examples we should be aiming for. Here, I’ve listed seven areas of spiritual growth as found in the Scriptures, along with specific examples of goals we can aim for in each category.

In your pursuit of setting spiritual goals, I know it might be tempting to tackle a whole bunch at once. But, hear me out! Pick just one or two specific goals to work on at a time; this way, you won’t be overwhelmed, and you can focus on mastering those new habits, before moving onto other goals later on.

But no matter what goal you work on, or how you go about it, do it for the Lord. Don’t do it because you think you’re supposed to, or you feel guilty about not doing it, or so on… do it out of love and reverence for God, and appreciation for His grace. Give God your heart and your effort, and trust Him to change you from the inside out.

Bible journaling

Study God’s Word

First up on our faith goals list: studying God’s Word! Certainly, this is imperative for spiritual growth. It’s how we get to know God, to understand what Jesus did for us on the cross, and how He wants us to live. So, how might you grow in your study of God’s Word?

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

1) Study the Bible more consistently.

Do you tend to only pick up your Bible once a week, or only on certain days? Try setting a specific time each day for Bible study, and then stick with it consistently, to make it a habit.

2) Adopt a new study method.

Want to study God’s Word on a deeper level? Commit to trying a new study method, such as verse mapping, inductive Bible study, Bible journaling, or join a group Bible study at your church. These are all great spiritual goal examples which will deepen your study of the Scriptures.

3) Do a 365 day reading plan.

If you’re a new believer, or you’ve just never read the Bible cover-to-cover, then do a 365-day reading plan! This makes an especially great spiritual growth goal for the new year, but of course you can start it at any time of year you like.

4) Read all the books of the Bible you’ve never read.

Maybe you’ve already read the most well-known books, like Genesis, Isaiah, or Matthew. But what about smaller, less quoted books like Joel, Obadiah, or Jude? Set a goal for yourself to study each book of the Bible you haven’t yet read. Maybe do one book a month, for example.

5) Pick one book each month to study in-depth.

Speaking of reading one book a month, how about choosing 12 specific books of the Bible that you want to learn more about, and studying one each month for the next year? Good options might be books like Ezekiel or Revelation, which are more complex and require a bit more study to understand.

prayer journal printables - garden of life design

Improve Your Prayer Life

You already knew this was coming, didn’t you? Prayer is right up there with studying God’s Word, in terms of its importance. Prayer is our lifeline to God, after all! Check out these spiritual goal examples you can use to grow your prayer life…

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

6) Set a dedicated prayer time each day.

If you don’t already have a set time with God each day, why not start one? As Corrie Ten Boom said: “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees”.

7) Aim to pray in specific situations.

Is your goal to pray more continually throughout the day? If so, you might create a plan for yourself, with certain triggers that remind you to pray. For example, pray whenever you enter a new room or building, pray when someone enters your home or office, pray at every traffic light on your commute, or so on.

8) Set a themed prayer schedule.

Or, another great way to pray continually, would be to set a daily prayer schedule for yourself, with reminders at certain times. For example, pray for your family at 9am, pray for your church at 12pm, and at 3pm pray for people who are sick or grieving.

9) Start a prayer journal.

Want to keep better tabs on the prayer needs of the people in your life? Start a prayer journal! Commit to keeping a record of prayer requests… and don’t forget to make note of answered prayers too.

10) Begin praying out loud/in the moment whenever possible.

Okay, if you’re an introvert like me, this one may be quite the challenge! But if you want to do more to share your faith with others, offering to pray (out loud) with them in the moment is a great practice to start. You could also offer to lead the prayer at meals, or at church small groups.

Seek God in Everyday Life

This one is more of a general-ways-you-can-seek-God category. The spiritual goal examples here are great habits to get into, to just praise the Lord and give thanks for all the blessings He’s given you!

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1 (NIV)

11) Make a new habit of listening to worship music daily.

If you’re not already doing this, it’s a great way to start your day on a positive note. Make your own playlist, use a service like Spotify, or listen to Christian radio like K-LOVE or Air1. And commit to listening at least once a day, like when you wake up, during your morning commute, or on you afternoon walk.

12) Take a walk in nature every day, and worship God for His Creation.

Whether you decide to start walking every morning, or maybe after lunch or dinner, a quiet stroll through nature is a great time to simply praise the Lord for all that He has created.

13) Praise God for your favorite things.

Start a new mindset, of thanking God for creating those amazing things you enjoy. Simple things like the smell of rain, sound of birds chirping, taste of an apple, and so forth… God created it all! What amazing gifts He made for us! I tend to thank Him most, for soap (I do love being clean), and my fave foods like cheese, avocados, bacon, chocolate, and even garlic.

14) Take a moment to just “be still” at a certain time each day, to seek Him.

This is a great spiritual goal to tackle, if you’re typically busy-busy-busy all day long and don’t stop to breathe until bedtime. Set a time (say, 10am and 3pm) where you just pause for a moment, to be still before the Lord. Maybe pray, or maybe just listen for what God is speaking to you, but most importantly—slow down.

15) Set aside a regular “spiritual retreat” for yourself.

This gem of spiritual goal examples was first introduced to me by Arabah Joy, and it’s such a great way to take a break from life, to rest and be with God for more time than you normally would. You can set a few hours or a whole day, once a month or once a quarter, to do some deeper Bible study, to pray fervently for any concerns you may have, or perhaps to read that faith-based book you’ve been wanting to get to.

seek God in nature

Think About Such (Excellent, Praiseworthy) Things

There are plenty of Christian goals that the Bible encourages us to pursue! One that I’ve especially been working on in myself lately, is the goal of thinking more positive, God-honoring thoughts. If you too want to “set your minds on things above” (Colossians 3:2), these are some great faith goal examples to accomplish that…

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever];
Romans 8:5-6 (AMP)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

16) List positive thoughts you want to think about.

Make some Biblical examples of goal setting for yourself, by taking the qualities in Philippians 4:8 (above), and listing positive thoughts that fit each quality. For example, NOBLE {think kind thoughts, even when the other person isn’t being kind to you}, RIGHT {think about what’s the right thing to do, like being honest}, PURE {dwell on love and forgiveness, not hate or revenge) and so on and so forth. Then, once you have your list, post it somewhere you’ll see it every day, and aim to think about such things.

17) Make list of negative thoughts, with Scriptures that refute those thoughts.

If you’re having some particularly negative thought patterns, write them down (say, you berate yourself for every little failure), and then write a Scripture that contradicts each thought (such as Romans 8:1, NLT—now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus). Like with #16 above, this would be a great list to post on your bathroom mirror, or on your fridge, so you’ll see it every day!

18) Choose specific times of day, to check your thoughts.

Set a reminder on your phone, to check in with yourself at regular intervals. What were you thinking about before your phone chimed? If you were thinking thoughts that weren’t Godly, positive, or encouraging, how can you shift those thoughts to what’s pure and good?

19) Reframe that toxic thought pattern.

Consider this aggressive therapy for ONE particular thought pattern you want to change! Similar to #17 above, take that thought pattern, and make a list of Scriptures that refute it. As many as you can find! Say, for example, you’re in a habit of grumbling about your lousy job or your toxic boss (or both). So, your list might include such Scriptures as Colossians 3:23 (work as for the Lord, not for people), 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (give thanks in all circumstances), Luke 6:27-36 (love your enemies), or 1 Peter 5:7 (give all your worries to God). The idea here, is to reframe that situation you’re grumbling about, and trust God with it, instead of just complaining.

20) Look for positive traits in others, to celebrate.

The last of these spiritual goal examples for thinking Godly thoughts, addresses the thoughts you think about others. Is there a specific person in your life who you tend to be critical of? Make a point of listing all their positive qualities (areas they’re talented in, characteristics like honesty or loyalty, etc.). Then whenever you think of them, choose to think about those positive attributes. After all, how you think influences how you behave towards them.

Speak Words That Build Others Up

Next up in the spiritual growth goals, is to speak words that build others up, rather than tearing them down. The thoughts we think have a lot of influence on the words we speak, so I very much recommend pairing those two goals together. That being said, here are some great spiritual goal examples to speak more positively…

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,
but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3 (NIV)

21) Replace hurtful words, with encouraging ones.

Do you have a bad habit of cursing, or just saying unhelpful things to people? Think about what you can say instead, that’s positive and uplifting. Every time you want to curse, praise God instead. If you’re tempted to say something negative, either don’t speak at all, or reframe it in a positive light. This will certainly take conscious effort, but it’s so worthwhile and good to do.

22) Make a list of encouraging words to speak to someone.

Choose a person you’re close to, like your spouse, parent, or best friend, and make a list of encouraging things you can say to them. Consider their circumstances, things they struggle with, etc., and challenge yourself to speak words that build them up. Some examples might be: “you’re doing such a great job” (when they feel like their work goes unnoticed), “I admire your effort” (if they feel like they’ve failed at something), or “you’re beautiful just as you are” (if they struggle with weight or other body image issues).

23) Set a goal to speak life to at least three people, every day.

Make it your resolution, to speak positive, uplifting words to at least three people every day. Maybe it’s the waiter at your favorite restaurant, a co-worker, and your hairstylist… or maybe it’s the people you live with. Either way, speak words of life and love.

24) Make a list of people to thank, and send one card or letter each week.

When’s the last time you thanked the people in your life, for the ways they’ve helped you over the years? Make a list of your family, friends, teachers, preachers, mentors, and others who’ve had a positive influence on you, and set a goal to send a thank you note to one of them each week. Sometimes people can’t see the fruit of their efforts, so by thanking them, you’re letting them know that their hard work made a difference. By the end of the year, you will have thanked 52 people!

25) Aim to listen better and respond with empathy, instead of advice.

Sometimes, we humans have a tendency to listen a little, and then jump in with (usually unsolicited) advice. So, if that seems like something you want to improve on, make it your goal to listen better. Listen, listen, listen, and don’t just try to fix their problems. Instead, express empathy for their situation, and let them know you hear and understand how they’re feeling. They can always ask you for advice if they want, but many times people just want to be heard.

love

Give Generously

I don’t know about you, but I could always stand to give more generously. Over and over, the Bible instructs us to give generously out of what we’ve been blessed with, and that “God loves a cheerful giver”. These spiritual goal examples are great suggestions, for how we can be more generous with our resources…

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1 Timothy 6:17-18 (NIV)

26) Increase your giving at church by a certain percentage.

Take a look at your spending, and see if you can get rid of some unnecessary expenses to make room for more giving. Or, if you’ve recently received a raise or moved up to a better paying job, definitely consider increasing your tithe as a response of gratitude. Maybe you’re giving 5% now, and can increase to 7% or 10%. Or you’re at 10%, and you decide to bump it up to 12%. Either way, give what you feel led to give, with a generous heart.

27) Add a line item in your budget for charitable giving.

Are you setting aside a regular amount for charitable giving? If you have a budget already set up, it’s easy to include a regular percentage that you can set aside for organizations and causes you care about. I started doing this several years ago, and it really takes the guesswork out of when to give, or how much, or wanting to spend that money on something for me. I already know that amount will be given, so all I have to decide is which of my favorite organizations it’ll go to, depending on current needs.

28) Make a new tradition, like giving a $100 tip to someone every Christmas.

Also in the spirit of generosity, can you start a new tradition of giving that you do at certain times of the year? Maybe give generous tips at Christmas, or prayerfully choose someone that you give $50 to every month.

29) Commit to giving to each homeless person you come across.

This may not be feasible if you encounter numerous people in need every day, but if you only occasionally cross paths with someone who’s homeless or otherwise in need, then make a commitment to give them something every time. It could be a $5 bill, a grocery store gift card, a fast food meal you pick up for them, or just a smile and a prayer.

30) Give more of your time and attention.

Okay, this generous spiritual growth goal won’t cost you any money, only your time and attention. Maybe you can set a goal, to put away your phone at dinnertime, to give your family your full attention. Or set a time where you can really listen to your spouse and/or kids, without distractions. Look for those ways you can live in the moment, and really pay attention to the person in front of you and what their needs and concerns are.

Serve Others

For this last category of spiritual goal examples, we’re talking about ideas to serve other people. “Serving” others can take many different forms, and these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13 (NLT)

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

31) Turn the tables, and ask how you can help them.

It’s so typical, to only think about how that (waiter, grocery checker, customer service person, etc.) can help ME. I don’t know about you, but I do that all the time! So, what a lovely change, to ask them how they’re doing, if there’s anything we can pray for them, or even just ask why they’re working at that job. You never know what a difference that simple question could make.

32) Set a reminder to check on your neighbor once a week.

If you have a neighbor who is elderly, disabled, or maybe just lonely because they have no family close by, make yourself a regular ‘appointment’ to check on them. See if they need anything, or just talk to them for a few minutes.

33) Take a chore you strongly dislike, and turn it into an act of worship/service.

Attention, all laundry haters and dishwashing despisers! I know it’s a bummer, and maybe you hate that chore, but how about turning it into an opportunity for service and gratitude? We may not like the task, but it’s possible to still find joy and purpose in it. Maybe give thanks that you’re able to do that thing for your family, that you have the two hands required to do the job, you can actually afford those clothes, you have food to eat and thus dishes to clean, and so forth. It goes back to thinking positive, uplifting thoughts… and changing how we view those tasks.

34) Decide to volunteer, once a week or once a month.

Do you feel called to make more of a difference in your community? Set a goal for yourself, to volunteer once a week or every month, at your church, or for a local non-profit. Pick a schedule that works for you, and commit to it. You wouldn’t even have to volunteer for the same thing all the time… you could volunteer for a different event or charity each time.

35) Invite your neighbors over for dinner once a month.

And finally, the last item on our faith goals list, is to practice hospitality, by inviting friends, neighbors, and/or community members into your home to share a meal. Start a new tradition, be it a backyard barbecue for everyone on your street, or a small gathering of friends from church once a month. Put more emphasis on the fellowship, rather than the ‘performance’ aspect of hosting. Who cares if everything’s not ‘perfect’? As long as everyone feels welcomed, loved, and respected, that’s the best thing.

So, there you have it! 35 spiritual goal examples, which you can use to grow in your walk with Christ. Like I said at the start of this post, the point of these spiritual goal setting examples is not to be ‘perfect’ or an ‘overachiever’. The idea here, is to set good goals, pray about them, make a genuine effort, and lean on God throughout the process. It’s He who will take your heartfelt efforts, and grow you in those deeper ways that only He can.

Need a great tool, to help you set good goals and work to achieve them? The Divine Faith Planner will encourage you to be more intentional with your life, trust God with your goals, and partner with Him to do great things for His Kingdom!

Divine Faith Planner

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