5 Resolutions For Church Leaders To Make This Year
By: Tim Gocha January 17, 2018
A full 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions every year, according to the first Washington Post edition of 2018. What’s even more shocking is 80% of those people will give up on their New Year’s resolution by the 2nd week of February!
One thing is for sure: no matter how many New Year’s resolutions we make or how well-intentioned we are, it is ultimately up to each of us to have the resolve to carry them out. For those of us who didn’t get around to making your resolutions on December 31st, here are a few to get you thinking:
1. I will strengthen my inner person.
I am an avid gym rat, but not in the way that you might think. For me, it’s about staying fit and lowering stress, not so much about getting stronger. Even more important than physical well-being is the well-being of your inner person. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
In his book, Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald makes the distinction between our outer world and our inner world. He says our inner world is “a center in which choices and values can be determined, where solitude and reflection might be pursued. It is a place for conducting worship and confession, a spot where the moral and spiritual pollution of the times need not penetrate.”
Few people practice the care of the inner self on a regular basis. As you approach this new year, resolve to take care of your outer and inner self. You will eventually be thanking yourself!
2. I will not linger in the rear-view mirror.
This is certainly easier said than done, but remember that looking behind you will not move you forward. There is a time and a season for reflection, but there is also a time to move forward with what lies ahead. We learn from our past failures, missteps, and disasters by refusing to let them define who we are or where we are going. Rear-view mirrors are needed in our vehicles, but I’d rather navigate the paths of life by looking through the windshield.
3. I will eliminate unnecessary clutter.
Not long ago, my wife and I moved to a different state. We packed most of our house ourselves but had professional packers box up our most delicate and fragile belongings. It’s amazing how much stuff we had! Have you ever noticed just how much clutter you can pack away over the years? Things that you haven’t seen or used for a long time, or things that are useless now and aren’t worth hanging onto.
Maybe it’s time to look at the clutter in our own lives. The new year offers us a change to take inventory of the feelings we harbor, the habits that continue to cause us harm, or the anxiety that causes us to lose sleep. What’s your clutter? Maybe it’s time to eliminate some unnecessary clutter that’s weighing you down or taking up space in your heart. Maybe it’s time to call the moving truck.
4. I will not take shortcuts.
Living in Houston, I use Waze to navigate the streets and highways. Most of the time, the voice in the background is comforting because I know it has my best interests in mind. However, there are times when I try to out-think Waze and I take a turn or shortcut that I deem to be the “best way”. Almost every time, Waze offers the faster, shorter, stress free way to get me to my destination.
When it comes to our leadership, our personal growth, or our relationships, there is no taking shortcuts!
There are no shortcuts to lead well, to manage our lives, to develop character above reproach, or to nurture relationships with others.
5. I will live and lead now!
Not sure about you, but I think I spend too much time thinking about the “what-if’s” and not enough time thinking about the “what-now’s”. In this new year, I have decided not to make long to-do lists, get lost in the details, or suffer from paralysis by analysis. I will choose to live life now, because I’m not promised tomorrow. My challenge to you in this new year …to, as John Ortberg puts it: “treat every day as it were the day before your last.”
What have you resolved to work on in the year ahead?