I confess that I’m not much on New Year’s Resolutions and tire of the endless chatter about it at this time of year! However, I’m not above spending a little time reflecting on the past 12 months, identifying the successes as well as growing edges. Part of that process includes thinking about my life mission and what I want to accomplish in the coming year… with God’s help, of course.
Did you catch it? That last sentence…
I’m not pleased to admit to that thought process. I too easily approach the “to-do” list (goal-setting, resolution-making or whatever you choose to call it) from the perspective of what I want to get done, and then asking God to bless and help me. It’s easy to look at the achievements that I think are most beneficial, attractive, or easily attained, assuming those things will look good to God, too.
If I’m honest, I know that I need to think less about what I want to accomplish and more about what God wants to accomplish through me—not to mention in me! (This is when having a personal mission statement pays off. Reflecting on that statement—and the process of writing it—brings me back to the basics of my ministry.) When I look to God’s word for some clues as to what he would have on my to-do list, one thing continually grabs my attention and captures my heart:
Equip the saints for works of service.
That’s it. Simple. Not easy perhaps, but simple.
Since you are reading this, I’m guessing that Paul’s charge in Ephesians 4 resonates with you, too. So, let me challenge you to take a look at your resolutions and measure them against scripture. What do you see on your list that reflects Paul’s directive?
- Do you need to breathe new life into your gifts discovery process?
- Do you need to re-examine your equipping systems and processes, looking for “holes” that need to be plugged?
- How are you modeling equipping for your lay leaders and volunteers?
In the coming weeks, let’s engage in conversation around these questions, as well as any others that the Holy Spirit raises. Let’s help each other improve our understanding of equipping and hone our leadership skills. We might find that if we give our best effort as equipping leaders—through the power of the Holy Spirit, of course!—we can help others accomplish God’s purpose for their lives. Together—everyone serving according to the way God has uniquely designed them to serve—we may just check some things off God’s list… things like feeding the hungry, providing water to those who thirst, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison, caring for the orphans and widows… well, you get the idea, right?
One last thing… Do you have a personal mission statement? If not, I encourage you to make that a New Year’s Resolution! If you do have one, do your resolutions align with your mission? If not, what needs to change?