If you’re like me, less has been accomplished in 2015 than I had had hoped for. (Just being honest. Hope you don’t mind!)
Now, 2016 lies directly ahead of us and the work of planning for the year dominates the agenda.
Actually, making plans and setting goals is pretty easy.
However, as leaders and pastors, the real challenge consists not merely of making plans but energizing ourselves and others to act upon them effectively and boldly.
That’s not always easy, especially if busyness, unresolved problems, pressures, and less than desirable outcomes from last year leave us feeling disappointed, discouraged, disheartened and demotivated.
The stress of unwarranted or unexpected criticism, conflict, and resistance to change can be especially deflating.
It is possible, though, to renew your passion in the face of that kind of pressure!
Should you find yourself in that kind of situation or something like it, here is my simple challenge to you. (It is a challenge that I intend to use for myself, in fact!)
Set aside some time to write out your call, mission, and current vision for ministry. This can include an overarching vision for your ministry or a more specific vision for your current situation.
I find this kind of exercise helps me in three important ways.
It energizes – the Prophet Habakkuk preached, “write the vision, make it plain upon tables that he may run that reads it.” A vision energizes.
It brings clarity – reflecting on our calling, mission, vision and deepest values helps us refocus on God and what He has called us to do; we can reset our priorities, if necessary.
It renews us – fatigue, discouragement, and burnout generally occur when we’ve focused a lot on outcomes rather than on God and our mission/vision.
Taking time out to refocus, even if we have done so many times before, can help all of us to become more efficient, energized, and encouraged. When we’re renewed and revived it will be easier to encourage others towards the vision. After all, our passion for the vision gets communicated louder than the words we speak!
God’s Blessings on this New Year!