Resolutions For People Who Don’t Make Resolutions

Written by Bill Whitt
January 3, 2023

If you're burnt out of the usual resolutions, let me offer you a unique take on New Year's resolutions -- anti-resolutions, if you will!

If you’re like me, at some point you have set wildly ambitious goals for a new year… only to watch them fall apart within a few weeks. Maybe you’ve been through that cycle a few times. Maybe your 2023 goals are already on precarious ground!

  • Whether you love or hate New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of a calendar year does provide a good opportunity to look back, look ahead, and ask, “Are we on course toward our long-term destination?” This is true for you as a leader and for the church.
  • If you’re burnt out of the usual resolutions, this year, let me offer you a unique take on New Year’s resolutions — anti-resolutions, if you will!
Five Anti-resolutions For the New Year
Anti-Resolution 1: I Will Do Less Myself and Equip Others More.
  • Most typical resolutions and goals are about doing more. However, Scripture is clear, the job of church leaders is not to do all the works of ministry. It is to equip the saints for ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
  • If your resolutions for 2023 are all about doing more tasks yourself, you will make yourself the bottleneck for your church’s growth. And you’ll burn yourself out in the process. Why not focus instead on intentionally investing in others?
Anti-Resolution 2: I will Speak Less and Listen More.
  • Many of us are paid to deliver a 30-minute monologue on stage week after week. It would be easy to conclude that speaking is the most important part of being a pastor. But what if that is just one part of the calling?
  • Leading well starts with listening Unless and until people know that they’ve been heard, they will not be open to your guidance. This is especially true when working for church renewal. In 2023, let’s be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19).
Anti-Resolution 3: I Will Worry Less and Pray More.
  • I am a professional worrier. If they gave out awards, I would absolutely dominate! It can feel good to mull over options and fret about choices, but this can get out of balance.
  • While God obviously wants us to make wise choices, he never wants us to lose sight of his sovereignty. He wants us to rely on him more than we rely on ourselves. In 2023, let’s strive to worry about nothing and pray about everything (Phil. 4:6).
Anti-Resolution 4: I Will Stop Working to Rest Regularly.
  • The work of ministry will relentlessly follow pastors home or wherever their cell phone goes. There is no end to the to-do list. The temptation we all face is to steal hours from family and from our own rest, but I believe God does not want that.
  • In the Old Testament, God commanded his people to embrace a weekly rhythm of rest to acknowledge that he is the Creator and the Redeemer, not them. Centuries later, medical science verifies rest is vitally important to many aspects of health. God has given you the gift of glorifying him and taking care of yourself by resting and shepherding your family. In 2023, let’s not forget to prioritize rest.
Anti-Resolution 5: I Will Leave Room in Plans for God’s Leading.
  • I love nothing more than creating a detailed plan and executing that plan flawlessly. However, wise planners always leave room for the Holy Spirit’s leading. Sometimes, I look over my plans, and I wonder if I’m following God where he wants to lead… or if I’m leading and asking God to get on board with my vision.
  • In our “new normal,” flexibility has become a superpower. Truly, no plan is written in stone anymore. We must be able to adapt ministry strategy more quickly than ever. In 2023, let’s strive to set good goals but always submit them to the Lord and listen for his leading.

Leave a Reply

sixteen − 10 =

What others have said...