Looking Back To Move Forward
A new year has begun. I’m just getting back from a few days away. As a pastor, Christmas is a big deal and takes a lot of time, energy, and planning. The holidays are busy for all of us no matter what we do. I like to get away at the end of each year to recuperate from the business of the holidays and get myself ready for the coming year.
One of the things that I take time to do at the end of each year is to evaluate the year that has been. Did I meet my goals? Did I grow in my relationships? Did I accomplish the things that I set out to accomplish? Did I grow in my spiritual, personal, and professional lives. Did I complete the projects that I wanted to get done? It is important for us to look back at the past year and see how things turned out so that we can make the right steps to be successful in the coming year.
One of the things that I committed to do was to read more books in 2019. At the end of the year, I finished 43 books on marriage, church growth, productivity, public speaking, and a few other topics. I accomplished my major goal for the year, and want to continue to build on that in 2020. Maybe you can start by reading one book a month. Not something that is just for entertainment, but a book that will help you grow in your spiritual, personal, and professional life.
This one goal helped me to accomplish great things in the other key areas of my life. That got me thinking about what else can I do this coming year that impact not just one area of my life, but multiple areas. This will probably be different for me than it is for you, so you need to figure out what will be most productive for you. I’ve committed to sitting down face to face and learn from a different pastor each month. Pastors who can encourage me and help me take the next step professionally so that our church can be ready for our next stage of growth. Who can you sit down with once a month that can help you grow in key areas of your life?
As far as our church goes, I had two major things that I wanted to accomplish in 2019. I wanted to get LIFE Groups up off the ground and establish a discipleship path for Good News. The discipleship path was easier to accomplish, but took the most time to put into place. Establishing LIFE Groups came with a schedule change to make it a priority, and a change of how we meet in groups. This change has been great for our church, but came with a great deal of conflict and controversy. But it was ultimately worth it as we are seeing lives changed and people growing in their walk with God.
Looking back at those things got me planning for the major things I want to accomplish in 2020 at Good News. My goal is to get our 1 on 1 discipleship program fleshed out and growing. So that people are equipped to help others take their next steps with God, after all we are called to make disciples who make disciples. The second thing that I want to do is make prayer more of a priority at Good News. because without God we cannot do what He has called us to do. What are two main things that you want to accomplish this year in your professional life? How can you make sure that you accomplish them?
Spiritually in 2019 I wanted to make reading the Bible more of a priority in my life. I was able to do this by reading through Bible plans on the Bible app with my LIFE Group and with friends. There is something about accountability that helps us get things done. And it is a great way to bring others along in their spiritual growth. I’m hoping to do the same thing with prayer in 2020 that I did with Bible reading in 2019. What spiritual goals and growth would you like to see take place in your life this year? Who can help keep you accountable to follow through?
The new year is upon us, whether we are ready or not. We won’t grow in the different areas of our lives by accident. We have to make it happen. That starts by evaluating the last year of your life, and then making the necessary steps to get where you want to be at the end of 2020. You have to look back to move forward.