Good Bye, 2008 – Hello, 2009! Okay, as the clipart implies, I find it harder to stay awake until 12am than in previous years. But, all the same it’s time once again to welcome a new year. This is always a natural time to formulate lists of resolutions and the like. I don’t have any great resolutions this year (I never make it past January anyway), but I have been thinking about a few goals for the new year. Goals isn’t even the best word. More like changes in focus, or re-focusing. These are less tangible and harder to measure than “work out three days a week” or “quit smoking,” but helpful, nonetheless, in preparing my mind for some changes I’d like to make.
Local Church – Again and again over the past year, God has convinced me of the importance of the local church. There’s absolutely nothing like it! Working at a “para-church” ministry, it is important to “come along side” the local church, rather than try to replace it (even if the local church is not particularly healthy). This year I want to work both (1) more within our local congregation and (2) building connections between the ministry of Helping Hands and the ministry of the local churches in Athens.
Discipleship – Discipleship and leadership development are two of my passions in ministry. Yet I often spend more time on other projects – necessary and good projects, mind you – rather than following through with my vision for discipleship. Over January and February, I will unload myself of a few time-passion-life sucking responsibilities and free myself up to focus on discipleship.
Hospitality – Now that Sofia is a bit older (almost one year!) and on a more regular schedule, we want to use our house as a ministry tool. We hope to set aside one evening each week to intentionally minister to refugee friends at the house: food, laughter… life… together. We enjoy unique opportunities to practice this sort of hospitality, both because of WHERE we live and the fact that we’re married.
This list is not a finished work. But these are a few thoughts that Kristin and I have shared over the past few months. What about you? Any resolutions, goals, or re-focusing for the New Year?