Here’s an alternative path for those of us (all of us?) who have made our earnest resolutions at the beginning of every year, then watched our determination wither before Spring. What if, instead, we replaced “resolution” with “review, rethink, and re-invent”? Grab your calendar and target a day in January to set aside three hours for this process—consider it a priceless investment in your calling as a ministry leader, and a rich opportunity to invite Jesus to “mull” the year with you…
- Review your goals from the past year. What do you celebrate? What’s still in progress? What’s no longer important or the best use of your time? What will you carry into the new year?
- List the contributions made by others on your team, and how you will thank them for their efforts, insights, and gifts.
- Review your habits and practices. List what you’ll keep doing, quit doing, or start doing.
- Review your employee manual or operations handbook. Note what needs to be updated.
- Review last year’s giving and anticipate changes based on budget concerns.
- List the brights spots in your life and ministry this past year. What surprised you? What “fed” your soul?
- Describe where and how God brought growth in your life and ministry settings.
- List the norms that drive your plans and programs. Are they still working for you?
- List assumptions that drive your decisions. Do they they still ring true?
- How did you spend your time and energy last year? What changes will you make for the new year?
- List what energizes you. Describe what saps your energy. What will you do differently?
- List what you did to enlist, encourage, and equip leaders this past year. Which leaders will you invest in the new year, and what would that look like for each person?
- What were you were blindsided by last year? How did you react? What did you learn about ways to anticipate and adapt in the future?
- What fills your cup? Who nourishes your soul? Which people and activities will you invite into your life this year?
- In what ways did God move through you this past year? What is Jesus calling you to be and do next year?
- What skills and gifts will you continue to develop, to live into your callings in life?
- How will your church’s annual meeting celebrate God at work and become a springboard to focusing people’s attention on what matters for the new year?
- What will it look like for you to equip, empower, and encourage people to do God’s work everyday?
- What’s your next faithful step for growing as a Christ-follower?
- Who will you surround yourself with to bring out God’s best in you?
- Who are the grace-filled truth-tellers you will invite into your life to give you reality checks when needed?
- What norms and habits will you embed into your life this year to help you do what matters most?
- What’s your plan for learning to say no to what is no longer essential?
- What’s your plan to experiencing more joy, laughter, and gratitude in your life?
- What’s your plan for rest, renewal, and honoring Sabbath moments in your life?
What we inspect is what we usually improve or innovate. Carve out time to be at your creative best. As you review , rethink, and reinvent your ministry, consider encouraging others to do the same. Be well!
Jim LaDoux is the longtime Director of Coaching & Coaching School for Vibrant Faith. Jim lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife—he has two adult sons. He’s been a coach since 1992, and has a Master of Management Arts and is a certified PCC (Professional Certified Coach).