It’s that time again. The New Year! For some this means excitement: changes, planning, goals and resolutions. For others it means failure and setbacks.
Whatever you are looking at when it comes to 2017, one thing is clear, you can make a positive change for the better.
For those of you in ministry, you are probably thinking of how to reach more people, share the gospel more clearly and connect others in relationships to help them pursue Jesus together.
Most LIMs neglect one big thing when thinking of their New Year…their relationship with God. But this year will be different. I’d like to give you several resources to help you this year in pursuing your best year ever.
This is a resource that our church has been using for a couple of years. It’s designed to help you get some time with God and get One Word for you to focus on in the coming year.
I can vouch for this one because last year my word was “RECEIVE”. It was a continual reminder to ask God, “What do you have for me in this situation?”
Last year, I hired a Children’s Pastor, a Middle School Pastor, a High School Pastor. We had to buy a new HVAC unit and I got more love from friends, loved ones and students than ever before. I even had a birthday party (not my style) for my 30th birthday party and I loved receiving all those things.
We also RECEIVED 4 Foster kids in our home this year.
So you can see the amount of times that I was working thru the word in both positive, negative and just flat out difficult situations.
I’m currently working on my One Word for this year. I’m excited to get some focus for 2017. Highly recommend this one.
This is actually a system of taking notes and keeping track of your life. I used a Bullet Journal towards the end of last year. I initially thought that it would benefit me greatly in my work and help me be more organized and productive. It helped some… but over time it became a place to write my prayers and keep track of some habits.
It was definitely a win for me and I’m looking at more ways to use it this year.
There’s also a great community of people in this Facebook Group that are always sharing tips and tricks on using their bullet journal.
I’ll post this video that I think sums up a few of the things that I’m using it for.
Again, we want to focus on growing as disciples and not just becoming better workers, so this might be a great one for those of you that need to slow down.
This book by John Ortberg was eye opening to me on a variety of levels. It gave me an ok to be different than the stereotypical Youth Pastor. I love to read more than most, but didn’t need the skinny jeans or fake hipster glasses. Cool isn’t in my DNA. This book allowed me to figure out who God made me to be and embrace my uniqueness rather than feeling unqualified.
One of my biggest takeaways from this book was how Pastors, who are mostly introverted, always encourage others to get alone with God. They lean towards solitude because of who they are. They don’t encourage community as much. But we need both.
I will be revisiting this book this year to see how I’ve changed since the last time that I read it.
I’ve always wanted to do this one. Having younger kids makes this one difficult, but I know some folks who take a weekend to pray and ask God to give them direction for the coming year. I will give you what I think is a recipe for a great personal retreat with God.
- Wake and Thank – Praise God for His blessings.
- Repent – Take a piece of paper and write down every sin you can think of. Then burn them, rip them, and destroy them as you wash yourself in the grace of Jesus.
- Ask – What are you seeking direction for? Where do you need God’s intervention most? What’s the one thing you are hoping God will do this year?
- Plan – Write the insights gained so far from the retreat.
- Rest – Nap. Seriously.
- MIP List – Make a list of you Most Important People. Write 10 ways to invest in that relationship this year.
- Silence + Scripture – Spend some time with God in quiet. And bask in His Word. Find a verse to fuel you in the coming year.
That’s it for my list of resources that help re-orient me to where God might want to work in my life in the coming year. How about you?
What resource guides your planning for the next year? How do you plan on pursuing Jesus this year?