As we’re just weeks away now from the start of a new year, most of us are thinking toward what changes we’d like to make or goals we’d like to pursue in the coming twelve months.
As a pastor, I’m already weeks into preparing ministry goals for our church, and I’m excited about sharing them at our annual Vision Night on the first Sunday evening of the New Year.
One of the wisest things we can do when it comes to making goals is to recognize that adding more usually requires we cut back on something we’re already doing. The truth is, we all have very full schedules.
But there is a caveat in this: we need to be sure we’re cutting back on the right things.
Most of us have overwhelming schedules. Like you, I have a full calendar, and our church calendar is busy as well. But even in strategizing for fruitfulness over busyness, I want to be careful to not send a message that says “Evangelism isn’t as important as it used to be.”
It is wise to strip back non-essentials from the calendar. And the start of a new year provides a helpful time to do it. But don’t simplify just for the sake of simplifying. Do it for the sake of better investing yourself in the purposes of Christ.
The truth is, if we are to continue in vital, Christ-centered ministry, we will have to do so intentionally. As you look toward the new year, then, be sure that reaching the lost with the gospel is forefront in your goal-setting and vision casting.
While we’re cutting many things from the calendar, let’s not cut those things that relate to getting out into our community with the gospel and encouraging our church family to share the gospel of Christ with their friends, family, and neighbors.
In the newest edition of the Spiritual Leadership Podcast, I shared several thoughts related to keeping your church outreach program strong in the coming year. We looked specifically at growing in compassion, developing a comprehensive strategy, and using creativity in reaching our communities. I hope these thoughts are a help to you:
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Before the thoughts on outreach, I answered two listener-submitted questions:
- How do you deal with members of the congregation deciding to leave?
- What is your process for goal-setting and vision casting for the new year?
If you would like to send a question or topic that you would like addressed in future episodes, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.