Written by Paul Steinbrueck

imagineI’m a huge proponent of goal-setting.  I believe pretty much anything worth investing time and effort into should have a goal.  That includes a website.

January is the time when I usually reflect on the past year, assess goals that I set the previous January, and set new goals for the new year.  Ideally I’d like to do that during the week between Christmas and New Years.  Unfortunately, once again I had projects for OurChurch.Com which were due in early January and I ended up working crazy hours around the holidays.  Only in the last few days have I had a chance to come up for air.

So, Friday morning I finally got around to looking over the goals I set for 2008.  The last few years my goals haven’t changed much from one year to the next.  Usually I’ll just copy the previous year’s goals and then after some thought and prayer delete a few goals and add a few new ones.  I was about to something like that when I realized it was 6 AM and I needed to head out on my Friday morning run in order to get back before the kids wake up.

While on my run I noticed a church sign.  Now my experience is that church signs are notorious for cheesy, irrelevant, and even offensively trite quotes, but this one made me think.  It simply said…


I realized that too often when I set my goals, I start with the clutter of existing goals and obligations.  I start with last year’s goals and then think, “Yeah, that seems to be working.  I’ll just keep doing that.”  Or “I think I can do incrementally better next year.”  Or “My plate is already so full, I can’t possibly add anything new.”   But if my goals for this year are the same or incrementally higher than last year, then I should expect at the end of the year to basically be in the same place or perhaps an incrementally better place, right?

When it comes to your website, what if instead of starting with existing goals, current functionality, and what you’re already doing, you start with a blank sheet of and…


  • Imagine how you’d like your visitors to be interacting with your website.
  • Imagine the relationships and community you’d like to see formed around your website.
  • Imagine the information you’d like to see communicated through your website.
  • Imagine how you’d like your website to look.
  • Imagine how your ministry would function with your website doing all you imagine it doing.

Forget for a moment what seems possible or impossible.  Don’t get into how to make it happen yet.  Resist the temptation to immediately evaluate whether it’s a good idea or not.  Just imagine.

Write down these dreams.  Share one or two of them here with other readers.

Then in a couple of days we’ll talk about balancing these dreams with reality and setting new goals for 2009.

About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.


  • This is kind of dangerous for those of us with a really BIG imagination!

    Realistically speaking, however, one must have peers that are willing to participate with one’s projects in order for them to really make progress. Unless, of course, you are Martin Luther transcribing the Bible from one language to another. All he needed was God’s relationship in order for things to really start happening for him. I suppose we all could say the same for ourselves? But, Luther was not made to be an “island.” He was made to touch the lives of hundreds of thousands, as Christ was made to touch every human heart in the history of humankind. So how many human hearts are we made to communicate with? The internet reaches people across continents. The sea is vast, but we are so small in it surrounded by a million sharks, so to speak.

  • I am also planning to use the whole of next week to simply “imagine” or dream some new/big dreams for God, for myself, for my family and for my ministries. Your post reminded me of this need. I believe that without goal-setting nothing can be accomplished. One of my “big” dreams is to have a simple but informative website under OCC but i can’t afford the payment-so that’s part of the dream. And being a computer illiterate from this remote tribal area of the Philippines-i am also trusting God that someone out there will go out of his way to help me come up with a good website. Thank you for being used by God to remind me to keep on imagining big things for God for His glory. “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.”

  • […] One of the things I imagine the Christian Web Trends blog doing this year is communicating more stories of how Christian organizations are making innovative use of web technology. I came across two stores this week that got me excited and I think you’ll appreciate as well.  The first talks about an upcoming online missions trip which 2,000 teens have already signed up for.  The second reports on the amazing success a French online outreach organization. Christian Youth Prepare for Cyber-Missions Trip Dozens of churches around the world are planning to participate in a special missions trip that involves bringing Christ and His message to a huge community where the Gospel is not the most popular subject. […]

  • […] I hope you’ve had a chance to do some dreaming and imagine all your website could be in 2009.  Unfortunately, unless you are an artist with a wealthy sponsor paying all your expenses to work at your own leisure, you probably have to get back to the real world – a world with limited resources and limited time. […]

  • Indeed,out of imagination image is formed; therefore,for one to get something done either big or small it is depends on your kind of your imagination and then back it up with prayer and God,s words.FOR A BIGGER RESULT,BIGGER IMAGINATION MUST BE RIGHT THERE IN YOUR HEART

Leave a Comment

What is 6 + 6 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)