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Every December 31st as the clock counts down to midnight, upwards of 2 million people pack into New York City’s Time Square; huddling together in the cold eagerly awaiting the 60 second drop of the Waterford Crystal ball atop One Times Square. For the millions of us either too smart or too far away to join the festivities in NYC, most still participate in yet another New Year’s Eve tradition; the making of a list of New Year’s resolutions. A time-honored tradition inviting each of us to a fresh start…an unblemished 12 months/52 weeks/365 days/8,765 hours/525,948 minutes/31,556,926 seconds where we can renew broken commitments, dust off unrealized projects, set fresh goals, and dream new dreams. Each new year calls us to reflect on the previous year’s journey while also providing us an opportunity to look ahead and chart our course forward. So before (or shortly after) the crystal ball counts down to a new year, may I challenge you to carve out time for a checkup…an intentional time of reflection on your past year and charting of what’s to come?


Identify three ministry wins over this last year. Be careful not to overlook the seemingly small yet significant. Determine one win you’d like to see happen going forward.


Be willing to put everything on the examination table (even sacred cows or programs that are “your baby”). Ask for constructive feedback. Pinpoint areas of strength. How about areas of weakness or blind spots? What can you do to capitalize on your strengths and minimize the effects of your weaknesses?


Put a finger on one or two key areas where you felt your ministry missed the bullseye or could use some tweaks. What adjustments can be made in the coming year to address what you’ve identified?


How did you navigate the tension between ministry and family this past year? What’s one thing you wished you would have done differently to improve this critical area? What are the practical steps to make it a reality this next year?


Be honest with yourself, did you run the ministry this year or did the ministry run you? What’s the root cause of that? What practical steps can you take this year to improve in this area?


How well did you take care of yourself physically/mentally? What gives you life and what sucks it away? What must change so you don’t burn out or burn down everyone around you?


How did you do with spending time in God’s Word…outside of prepping for messages or working on curriculum? How about your prayer life? What’s your plan for your spiritual well-being going forward? Accountability?


How often did you step back from the planning, promoting, and posting on social media to just worship God? How can you do this more in the coming year?


Outside of your own ministry, what did you do this past year to make a difference in someone’s life?

Looking back at 2018, what’s your biggest: ministerial win, personal win, area in need of a tweak, greatest area of strength and weakness?

Looking forward to 2019, what are your strategies/tips for: navigating the tension between ministry and family, strategically staying ahead, knowing yourself, prioritizing your health and sanity, growing in your own walk with the Lord, pausing to praise, and making a difference outside your own ministry?  

-Kerry Ray

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