I ABSOLUTELY LOVE FRESH STARTS! I have a personal affinity for new things. (This has gotten me in trouble more than a few times.) I think this is why I love mornings. There is nothing quite like the crispness of the morning air, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching a sunrise, or quite honestly, the feel of a fresh clean shave. It all signals a Fresh Start.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
In a few days we will welcome in 2013, which is an incredible opportunity for us to see the faithfulness of God over 2012, and a time to anticipate his plan for us over this next year. I always do two simple things when a new year comes.
I Look Back…
As an example: Here are some things God did in 2012 through our 217church family!
- 61 baptisms (141 total since we started 217church)
- Doubled our small groups ministry
- Doubled our youth ministry
- Started a Partnership with Urban Promise in Trenton & gave them $25,000!
- Increased giving by 30%
- Produced our first ever DVD “Live Differently” curriculum for our small groups
- Gave away $11,500 to single moms one Sunday in April
1. Retreat – You have to get away to do this! I can’t stress this enough. One of the only ways you will be able to be spiritually healthy with a correct perspective about what really happened to you over the last year, is to isolate yourself from the busyness of life and take an extended sabbath. The end of the year gives me an opportunity to reflect on where God has taken me. It also helps me to see what God enabled and what he disabled. Just start by planning a time to get away, even for a half day!
2. Reflect – Is there something you know you need to STOP doing? Now that you are on that well deserved retreat, it’s time to recount what God did and ask Him what needs to go. Is it an unhealthy relationship you need to get out of? C’mon single ladies, do you need to dump the loser? Does he really measure up? Are you settling for less than God’s best for you? Is there a job you need to transition out of? Is there a bad habit that is crippling you? When you find your place of isolation, it’s time to recount what God did in your life and get rid of what needs to go.
3. Reposition – Is there something you know you need to START doing? The ability to dream gives us hope and anticipation of God’s faithfulness to us. I like to divide this into two specific sections:
- Personally how do you reposition yourself? Did God do a deep work in you? If there was a word to describe what happened in 2012 what would it be? Here are five ‘f’ words to help you personally reposition yourself. What is one way you need to reposition yourself in your: Faith? Family? Finances? Fitness? Friendships? Just pick one tangible action step for each area. Even if you just pick one area, you will see the possibility of what God wants to do through you.
- Professionally how do you reposition yourself? Did you learn a new skill or lesson in 2012? Maybe you are working your way through college or started a new ministry or have aspirations to start a business. You need a compelling vision! What is that vision for you? Take courage and Initiate!
I Look Forward…
1. Ramp Up – Is there something you know you need to KEEP doing? Build on your greatest successes and use them to your advantage in 2013. Oh man, this is where is gets really fun! How do you motivate in order to initiate a new goal or vision? Everyone is different, but you will need a strategy to ramp up your training to reach the vision God has for you personally and professionally. It’s time for action!
2. Request – What people do you need to enlist to help you? DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! I have seen so many people fail because they failed to include others in on their plan looking forward. “…in abundance of counselors there is victory.” Proverbs 24:6 If your plan is only your plan and you haven’t shared it with anyone, you will probably fall short. No one is that good alone.
3. Reap the Harvest! – Go and Get it! It’s time! What are you waiting for? This is where all your planning is proved powerful. A plan not executed is a collosal waste of time and energy. Get out your tools, get ready for the hard work and get out there! One tip that helped me: Realize your plan will never be perfect. You have to just start. If we would have waited until every circumstance was perfect to start 217church, we would still be planning. This is called paralysis by analysis!
It’s time for a FRESH START IN YOUR LIFE!
217church meets 9:30 & 11 am at AMC 24 in Hamilton, NJ
- January 6 – Fresh Start in Your Finances
- January 13 – Fresh Start in Your Health
Tic-Toc it’s almost here!