Oh my – A New Year!
I am so pumped for what this next year has in store for you and for me. I’m almost beside myself! There are times in every year when ENDLESS possibilities lie ahead and now is the time to prepare for what “could be.”
Let’s think about what the Lord has in store for you in 2017. Endless possibilities!
How do know what the Lord has planned for you personally? And what about for your church?
Here’s the challenge:
The more seasoned a person becomes in their faith, oftentimes the faith to believe for even more wanes. Life becomes routine. Even miraculous works of God become routine or “normal,” and sometimes people don’t believe for bigger and greater things to come…
… or they might not believe as BIG as they should.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
As Christians (and especially for those who are church leaders), we should constantly strive to seek more from God. More and bigger opportunities and results — both personally and for the ministry.
(Want greater confidence in your decision-making? Check out Right Turns: The 30 Navigational Decisions Leading Pastors Make In Growing the Church. Click here to receive it FREE for a limited-time + $4.95 shipping.)
For the endless possibilities to happen in your life and ministry, you have to position yourself for them to happen. If you follow the 8 Strategies from Michael Hyatt combined with the following 9 Essentials, these possibilities are on target to become reality.
When you can stay true to those listed below you open the door to things that only God can do in your life, family and ministry. Clearly worth the journey in my mind.
Here are the 9 Essentials for church leaders in the new year:
1. Pray to God for New Possibilities.
“Pray as if everything depends on God” is an old but true adage. When I suggest this to church leaders sometimes I’ll get a, “Yeah, yeah, we do that” response. I encourage you to pause for a moment and for this new year make this a bigger part of your prayer life. Pay attention to this first one and the remaining essentials’ impact will be exponential. If you don’t do it, the impact will be minimal.
2. Work Like It Depends on You.
In the human sense nothing substitutes for hard work. Can God do it without you? Sure. Will He? Not as much as we might think. Give it your all. Mark Batterson uses the term, “Dream big, pray hard and think long.” That statement gives you the sense of working hard — kind of merges praying and working in tandem. Smart!
3. Think About the Possibilities.
What would it be like if you could have more people coming to your church or participating in your ministry? Think about the type of impact you could have. Doing so prepares your mind for how and what that might look like. And it helps you begin to prepare logistically. For example, what will change when that possibility happens? Thinking these things through is essential to prepare for when God actually does it.
4. Be Specific.
Aim at everything and you’ll generally hit nothing. It may seem a bit oxymoron-like to think of endless possibilities in great specifics. However, I encourage you to pray, work, and think specifically. It’s kind of like goal-setting. You don’t create general goals, you create specific ones. The same holds true when it comes to preparing for the endless possibilities God will do.
5. Read Like a Leader.
Learners read and readers learn. I’m amazed at the number of good church leaders who never read. They are leaving so much on the table. For books, my top three recommendations are:
- Circle Maker by Mark Batterson (your prayer life)
- Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas (your discipleship life)
- Platform by Michael Hyatt (your network with everyone including unbelievers).
- Plus, I have a bit of a bias to the most recent book by that Hardy character, Right Turns! 🙂 In fact I’ll give it to you free if you cover the shipping. My gift to you!
The point is, reading helps you think bigger and enables you to imagine the possibilities for your life and ministry. It’s absolutely essential!
6. Love Deeply.
John 15:13 references, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” May this next year be the season that your love of family and ministry moves to an entirely new level. Most importantly can your pray for the deepest love ever for your God and His lost sheep? When you do, the possibilities of how God will work through you are truly endless.
7. Appreciate History.
Reflection is good for the soul. God has done much to bring you to this place in history. Appreciate where you came from personally. Appreciate the history of your ministry. Acknowledge it and understand that much of what is ahead for you will be a direct result of that which has been behind. That’s worth appreciating!
8. Believe for a New Tomorrow.
At Leaders.Church we believe the church as we have always known it is not necessarily what church has to be for the future. At the same time, we believe you can lead it at an entirely new level. That starts when you believe for a new tomorrow. Nothing happens in the natural until we believe for it from God. On the contrary, if you don’t believe it can happen, it probably won’t.
9. Do Everything with Humility.
I just saw a missionary friend of mine at Panera Bread the other day. He indicated he had just taken on a new responsibility with his missionary fellowship. With a sense of awe, he expressed an awareness that he is in so far over his head he can’t see straight. I suggested to him as long as he keeps it that way, he will be good to go.
In whatever you do, be humble. Know that you have not arrived. When you maintain a humble mindset you are setting the stage for God to do something special.
If you are like me the future can seem overwhelming and routine all at the same time. But it does not have to be that way.
Pay attention to the essentials listed above and God will expand your leadership and capacity to serve Him far beyond what you could ever have imagined in times-gone-by.
Let the journey begin!