Happy New Year. It is the beginning of 2010. Usually at this time we plan a fresh start – which is good. Many of us have made the resolutions, stated our goals and we are looking forward with anticipation to a better year. Yes, 2010 can bring a year of success if we are willing to do the one thing all goals have in common and that is – change.
It seems like it is a law somewhere, if I want to go up I must give up. To be different I have to do different. So if my goals challenge me to change, will I?
• If my goal is to lose weight: I must change how I eat.
• If it is to get in better physical shape: I must start exercising.
• If it is to pay off bills: I must change how I spend my money.
• If it is to have improved friendships: I must be friendly.
True progress requires change.
Just as our personal goals are based on change, so are spiritual goals. So many of the people I communicate with: pastors, missionaries, spiritual leaders, and especially those under the age of 35, have a desire to see a greater manifestation of Jesus and his kingdom. The challenge is to do so, we have to change.
Many of us have heard the definition of insanity: it is doing the same thing over and over, hoping for different results! Unfortunately, this describes the new years goals of many churches and ministries. Numerical growth goals have been established and then the calendar is filled with “new” events that are supposed to bring about these goals. In reality, these new events are just the same modus operandi with different wrappings.
If we truly desire a greater manifestation of Jesus, we must be willing to change.
This year, instead of just putting goals on the same old things: attendance, giving, buildings, etc. maybe we should make transformational and quality goals? Maybe we should have a goal de-construct and to re-think & re-image church?
Some possible goals to consider:
• Transferring the focus of ministry from a Sunday event, to daily lives.
• Empowering the born again believer to minister their giftings.
• Less focus on liturgy and more waiting on Jesus.
• Simplify worship, creating an environment for intimacy.
• Focus less on external and more on internal transformation.
• Discipleship development based on relationship, not conformity.
There is a dual challenge to achieving these goals. First, they are not measured quantitatively but qualitatively. Second, they are opposite of traditional church. Both however, require a change in our mindset about who we are as the church and how we do church.
Twenty Ten can be a powerful year for the believer and church who is willing to stop, evaluate and change. The world is ready for something different this could be the year we give them something different!