Question: What is your most important goal setting activity?
Answer: Your friendship with God!
In terms of pure goal setting, Christian goal setting shares the same techniques as secular goal setting. There is nothing wrong with that: Christians don’t operate their cars differently from non-Christians, they order off menus the same way, and they take the same medicines when they’re sick. Goal setting, like cars, restaurants and health, simply works along similar lines. But Christian goal setting is a great deal more than simply meeting objectives, because as Christians we set our goals within the context of 1) our relationship with the Risen Christ and 2) our God-given life purpose.
I am firmly in the “once saved, always saved” camp. I believe that at the moment of conversion, dramatic or not, you are a changed creature and the grace of God covers and saves you. But living out your salvation and growing in Christ take continued effort — just like any good thing does.
There are several vital practices that maintain and grow your relationship with God. I would argue that prayer, Bible study and corporate worship are the top three. Obedience is important too and so is living as righteous a life as you can muster. Other things are important depending on the individual: creativity and imagination, giving and generosity, living the spiritual gifts and cultivating the fruits of the Spirit.
I have found one method of prayer in particular to be absolutely crucial to my Christian growth. The type of prayer dates back to the early church and uses the imagination to reach deeply into our hearts and minds. This type of prayer allows Christ to touch us at our deepest levels. I call this “imaging prayer.”