Each year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more and spend their money more wisely. Even though many of these resolutions fade with time, some of them ultimately lead to positive, long-term change.
If individual resolutions can have encouraging—even life-changing—results, imagine what could happen if an entire church body committed to New Year’s resolutions!
Over the next few weeks, as you gather as a community to celebrate the birth of Jesus, consider how your church can make its Christ-centered message and mission even more powerful.
With so many people holding your congregation accountable, your chances of success just jumped!
Here are seven resolutions to consider for your church on 2019.
1. Personal interactions with at least _____ people in your community in 2019.
You’ll have to choose this number as a congregation. Is it 250 people, 500 people, 3,000 people or more?
The number isn’t necessarily important, but the idea of committing to touch people with the love of Christ—however that looks in your context and community.
People will long remember a personal interaction with someone over an anonymous email, postcard or doorhanger inviting them to stop by your church for Easter service.
Jesus spent a considerable amount of time interacting with people one on one. They didn’t soon forget this experience—and neither will those you engage in your community.
2. Organize a give-back opportunity.
How many unmet needs are there in your neighborhood? Probably more than you can count, and more than one congregation can fulfill. Yet Jesus urged His followers to be His hands and feet.
Consider sending your congregation out in teams—two, three or five to a team—and have them complete service projects. Anything from cutting grass to minor home maintenance projects to grocery shopping to simple car repairs … anything that involves a need your congregation can help address.
This will demonstrate your congregation’s love and care for the community—and may even lead to people finding their way to your church’s doors.
3. It’s time to do that one big thing you’ve been talking about for so long.
It could be that much-discussed expansion project or that outreach idea that’s been percolating for years or maybe it’s starting that youth ministry for area students.
Regardless of the idea, determine to take a major step in this direction in 2019. This might be the year for planning or action; but whatever it is, move forward with your big idea so it doesn’t become yesterday’s big idea.
4. Recommit to your church’s mission and vision.
These are your church’s core drivers, and they help form the essence of who you are as a church and how you see God directing your actions.
Just like anything, if your mission and vision aren’t given attention, they can become stale and lifeless.
The beginning of the year is a great time to revisit these important documents, examine them with fresh eyes and determine if your church is still on the right path. If not, then gather your congregation and begin the process of recommitment.
If you find your mission and vision statements are no longer working or they need a reset, commit your church to the process in 2019. It’ll be worth the time and effort.
5. Address any lingering conflict.
This is not your everyday disagreement, but those long-term sores that never truly heal. They can sap the energy out of your congregation and prevent you from fulfilling the vision God has placed in front of you.
If you have conflict of this nature, take some time early this year to finally get to the root. It might not be easy, quick or painless; but once you’ve walked through the healing and restoration process, your church will be ready to tackle any challenge.
And the light of Christ will glow brighter in your community.
6. Don’t over-program your people.
Nothing inspires a congregation more than feeling loved and appreciated. It’s a wonderful recipe for commitment and focus. But it’s difficult for a church to demonstrate its commitment and focus if it feels burdened by too many programs, meetings and events. The time allotment itself can become disheartening.
Consider taking a step back in 2019 and examine how much you expect of your congregation. Look for sufficient margin and space in the life of your church. If it’s not there, find ways to address this challenge. Fewer events many mean more participation—and more devotion.
Amid the hustle and bustle of life in the 21st century, we can forget to celebrate. We shouldn’t.
Celebrate people, milestones, initiatives … or just gather together occasionally and celebrate for no other reason than your commitment to each other and to Christ.
These are just a few tips—resolutions—to commit to in 2019. If you spend a few minutes together, you can come up with more or ones that better fit your current situation. Regardless, commit to something and see how God blesses your commitment.
Here’s to a 2019 that’s filled with hope, promise and fulfillment!