The beginning of a new year provides renewal leaders an opportunity to think strategically about investments for the coming year. This is particularly important given the anticipated emergence from a season of extraordinary challenge for Christ’s church.
Here are 7 renewal resolutions to consider for 2021:
Resolution 1: Resolve to Rethink Your “Why”
From time to time, it’s important to ask, ‘Why do we do what we do?” At the heart of renewal ministry is a commitment to preach the Gospel, make disciples and live the Jesus life. Everything flows from these essentials including spiritual formation, pastoral care, worship, prayer, outreach and mercy. In 2021 how can you clarify your why?
Resolution 2: Resolve to Refresh Your “First Love”
In 2021 renewal leaders would do well to help congregants rediscover the joy of life in Christ including a life of prayer, a life in the Word, a life in community, a life guided by the Spirit. In other words, help them rediscover the abundant life of Jesus following (John 10:10). How can you help people restore their “first love?”
Resolution 3: Resolve to Name and Embrace a New Normal
An important responsibility of renewal leaders is naming reality. Help congregations name what they’ve lost, what they’ve kept and what they now need. The naming should always remain hope-filled. As the hymn writer declared, “Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!”
Resolution 4: Resolve to Embrace Key Learnings From Pandemic Ministry
So much has been learned during the pandemic about connecting digitally, caring for the disconnected, serving the community, living as good neighbors, creative problem solving, and real-time decision making. Taking time to identify learnings is an important part of advancing ministry through lessons learned in a crisis.
Resolution 5: Resolve to Create a Meaningful Homecoming Event
Sometime this year, the Lord willing, we’ll gather without restriction. When that happens, churches should create a well-planned, deeply meaningful homecoming. The homecoming should include special worship services, planned relational reboots, new ministry launches and gatherings for food and sacrament. Let God’s people celebrate!
Resolution 6: Resolve to Invest in Zero-Based Ministry Planning
Zero-based planning means starting from scratch rather than recreating what has always been done. Rarely do ministries have the opportunity to start by asking: What will we keep? What will we leave? What will we create? Zero based ministry planning provides an opportunity to create a simpler, more effective ministry model.
Resolution 7: Resolve to Never Lose Hope
The Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5:4-5 are a gift for renewal leaders who daily struggle against pandemic related ministry challenges. Paul’s counsel is that we should, “glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope and hope does not disappoint.” No matter the ongoing challenges in 2021 we must resolve never to lose hope.