Whether you’re someone who makes resolutions every year and sticks to them, someone who makes resolutions and forgets them by February, or someone who doesn’t bother with them at all, Scripture makes one thing clear for all of us: we are called to excellence and growth. As believers, we are expected to perpetually pursue spiritual maturity, and that requires that we take time to evaluate where there is unaddressed sin preventing us from further intimacy with Christ and where we can minister better to those around us. Going into 2022, here are 6 things you can do to reflect and pursue nearness to our God.
1. Pursue a healthy home and work balance
We say this a lot, and we have no plan to stop reiterating it anytime soon. In our interactions with pastors and ministry leaders all over the country, one struggle that we hear repeatedly is that when your faith permeates every aspect of your life, but your work is based on your faith, the lines between work and home are muddled, and it’s difficult to put hard boundaries in place between the two. But figuring how to do so is critical for your longevity in ministry as well as your relationships with your loved ones. How you do so looks different for every role and every individual. Take time to reflect on where you let work overtake your rest or time with family, and what may have kept that from happening. Choose to put hard boundaries in place, like not being logged onto your work email on your cell phone, making sure to use PTO regularly instead of saving it up, or not allowing yourself to work after certain hours. Communicate those boundaries to your coworkers, and encourage them to do the same.
2. Discern where there are gaps in your team
Going into the new year, now is the perfect time to sit down and figure out what your team needs going forward. Were there any gaps created by COVID? Did you have any post-holiday turnover? Is there anyone on your team whose gifts should be spent on tasks other than the ones they are performing now? Is there anything you can be doing to boost employee embeddedness? Don’t head into 2022 with the same roles and responsibilities simply for the sake of ease and consistency. Take time to decide if your current structure is truly the best it can be for serving your teams, and then decide if there are any gaps that need to be filled. If it’s not, contact us and we will help make your team whole.
3. Invest in your team’s development and growth
How can you encourage your employees, volunteers, and leaders alike to grow in 2022? What resources – books, seminars, conferences – can you provide that will enable them to continue doing the best ministry possible? How can you invest in new and old team members to raise up new leaders and enable creativity? Consider what your team needs in the upcoming year in order to do their jobs to the absolute best of their ability, within their skill sets, and aligned with their passions.
4. Seek out mission clarity
In a new season, it’s important to clarify where your words and actions may not align with each other. What is your stated mission? How do you communicate that to your staff as well as to your clients or members? Does your mission statement need to be updated to more adequately outline the values of your ministry? Have your actions in any way shifted away from your intended goal? Does your culture actually reflect your mission? Take time to sit down and remember all major actions, policy changes, cultural moments, and fundraisers from the past year, and whether they align with your mission. If they do not, either plan to change your actions going forward, or clarify your mission.
5. Clean up your calendar
Are there meetings you regularly sit in on that don’t need you there? Are there ones you should be attending that you aren’t? Have you agreed to be at an event simply because you feel obligated to be there, not because your presence is actually needed? Take time to look at your calendar for 2022 and decide what events are actually worth your commitment- not because some things aren’t important, but because you simply cannot say yes to everything and expect to come out of 2022 healthy, motivated, and energized. And if your ministry is reliant on your help and guidance at all times, then you need to do some serious restructuring. Don’t let an overwhelming workload and unnecessary obligations lead to burnout.
This one is simple. Like we said earlier, set boundaries for yourself, including in your online presence. Take time away from responding to texts and emails, and instead of filling that time with mindless scrolling, just turn your phone and computer off completely. Whether you do so for one hour a day or one day a week, unplugging will always reap mental and spiritual benefits. We as humans were not designed to be fully aware of everything going on at all times. That is a burden only our Creator was meant to bear.
We are excited for what 2022 has in store for the churches, schools, and organizations in the body of Christ that we have the honor of working alongside as we help you achieve your mission. This year, we encourage you not to shy away from change. Be obedient to Paul’s admonition to “be all things to all people,” and continue to see how your Kingdom impact can have a wider and wider reach. But in the midst of that, continue to seek out growth, clarity, and balance, and do not lose sight of your own personal, perpetual, overwhelming need for Christ.