Starting a new year can be adventurous for many. It’s a new journey where discoveries can be made about our personal lives, our ministry involvement or even our career paths. Though it may be intimidating for some, the key is to lose ourselves from the restrain or weight of goals.
Those can be pretty heavy at times.
We have to look beyond the notion of New Year’s resolutions being nothing other than overpowering objectives. Sometimes, even our past failures of fulfilling these goals have impacted our energy to create new ones. That’s why I like to use a different phrase to prepare for the adventure.
I like to boldly declare that I will resolve in the New Year!
This declaration allows me to change my perspective as I begin the journey of annual goals. Although it’s just a simple play on words, it allows me to feel as if the goals are indeed reachable. It allows the pressure to be lifted and for relief to be nearby; waiting for me get a quick break from the pressure to reach the goal. The declaration causes me to believe that I have the power inside of me to cross the finish line. My hope is not to simply finish, but to finish strong!
In 2016, let’s start by evaluating our ministry impact. I am not speaking of a corporate affect, but rather personal influence. How are you individually, or as a family, creating opportunities for ministry? Here’s a quick example to further illustrate my question.
Over the Christmas holiday, I was having dinner with some close friends. We all shared details about our Christmas plans and upcoming family events. Now, while all of our stories were exciting and definitely cultivated what I deem as the essence of the holiday season, it appeared a bit hollow when matched with the final story of a dear friend.
“We are making care packages for people in the community and are hand-delivering them. We are also trying to figure out how we can keep meals warm and include two days’ worth in the packages. Do you guys have any ideas that could help us?,” said my friend.
The rest of us sat quietly. We were numb and completely in awe. Not because of what she said, but because of how we felt based on what she shared. It had purpose. It was new. It was an idea that created an opportunity for ministry. It had discipleship written all over it!
After going through a play-by-play of what my family and I planned to do, I was so excited and overjoyed by the opportunity to fellowship with them. However, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
What about the people in my city that don’t have the necessities for the month? What were their thoughts for this holiday season? Better yet, what were their needs?”
So after hearing about this amazing opportunity, I quickly asked, “How can I help?” In fact, we all asked. I was quickly able to get on board and offer financial support, prayer and even some supplies for her ministry opportunity. But what she later found out was that she offered me for more than what I could have imagined prior to this dinner.
My good friend offered me a new perspective on setting goals. I couldn’t wait to set a resolution in the following year. I had to act immediately. I rallied my small group to jointly adopt a family in need for the holiday season. We were able to find someone within our ministry that needed help for the holiday season.
I still had an amazing time with my family for the holidays and was truly grateful. But this set my holiday season apart from any other. I set a goal to make a ministry impact. I was guided to be a blessing to someone else intentionally. This was not an opportunity connected to my church. This was not anything that other volunteer organizations that I belonged to were doing. This was something personal, intentional and impactful, no matter the size of the contribution.
For my friend, this was a dream of hers for years and her husband quickly got on board. She wanted her family to always be a blessing to others during this season. She wanted her children to understand ministry firsthand and the importance of serving others. It had to be relatable her family. The kids served other kids. Her husband served the men, and she served the women. What an awesome opportunity. What an amazing way to finish the year strong!
So, this conversation was so important to me because it gave me the option to set a goal for that holiday season and 2016. It gave me the courage to declare that I must resolve in the New Year. I must resolve to grow more as a disciple and to share myself in areas that I may not have imagined. It forced me to work on a plan to resolve how I spend each holiday throughout the year. I love my family and I am confident that the feeling is mutual if you asked them, but what could we do as a unit that could impact the lives of others in a ministry capacity? It doesn’t have to be the same thing that my friend is doing, but there are tons of opportunities that we can create. Like my friend, we just have to shift our thinking.
Her sharing forced me to conclude that I had more room to be more open minded toward other people. Sure, I have many efforts connected to service and volunteerism, but her story challenged me to dream about it. That’s the key!
It caused me to identify a passion and a relatable way to ensure that others had a little something to make them smile during these times where my family experiences so much joy and laughter.
Even though many of us may cringe at the thought of identifying a new year’s resolution, I want to challenge you to look at it differently moving forward. Look at it as a way to dream of ways to resolve! Resolve sadness, despair, fear, loneliness or even drought.
Set goals for 2016 that are for you to defeat, but that are gifts and a rewards for others. Don’t allow December to meet you with nothing checked off of your list. Let’s move toward December 2016 knowing we are on the verge of a strong finish. Move into 2017 with the confidence that you have made a ministry impact on others around you. Start 2016 with the dream of checking off your New Year’s Resolutions for someone else. That’s my new goal; to Resolve in the New Year.
Kendrea Moorer, M.B.A. is the Ministry Administrator III for New Covenant Believers’ Church in Columbus, OH under the leadership of Bishop Howard Tillman.