Aw, it’s that time of year again. We all enter January with hopes and dreams of all that we will accomplish before next Christmas. As you think and pray about 2018 in your world, let me encourage you to include these four areas:
- Be even more disciplined in growing in love with Jesus. One of the sad and scary and not-talked-about truths of ministry is that we so often become so busy doing the stuff that our own personal spiritual disciplines lag behind. In what area do you need to focus on this year? Prayer? Bible study? Going to a worship service? Pick something, make a plan, and do it. Leading out of emptiness will result in emptiness. Our desire is to lead from a fresh and passionate love for Christ. Discipline is often the road that leads you to that.
- Do something that is going to improve you. Take a class, learn a language, read more, write more, run, swim, travel… what do you need to do to improve who you are intellectually, emotionally, or physically? Everything affects your leadership, whether you realize it or not. When you are healthy emotionally and physically you lead from a healthier place. When you stretch yourself intellectually, God will use that somehow in your ministry. Pick something, make a plan, and do it.
- Love people intentionally. This year I realized that in the busy I had lost the value of building deep, new friendships. I also realized that we are all surrounded by lonely people who desire community, just like we do. What do you need to do to build deeper, authentic relationships with others and at the same time be the friend that others might really need? Should you join a small group? Invite someone to lunch? Pick something, make a plan, and do it.
- Kill the things that are killing you. If you had to be absolutely honest, what are the things that you KNOW are detracting from your effectiveness in ministry? It might be lack of spiritual discipline. It might be a secret sin that you would die if others knew about. It might be time wasters that are eating away at your productivity. It might be a “good” commitment that is in the way of the best things you need to be doing. Maybe this is the year to kill that thing. Pick something, confess it, make a plan, and do it.
You probably noticed my repetitiveness. You know as well as I do how many New Year’s resolutions never make it past Martin Luther King Day. It is one thing to set a lofty goal, it is another to detail how you are going to make it happen each day and each week.
I hope you and yours have an amazing 2018 that is full of Jesus! I would love to hear what you feel God is leading you to do in the coming year. Please comment below!