January brings with it an end to one year, and the beginning of another. It is a time of reflections of past success as well as past difficulty. It is also a time of planning, goal setting, and excitement looking forward to a year full of endless possibilities.
With all that said, January is a good time to step back and evaluate—not only where your ministry has come from, but also where it is going. If you don’t normally take time to evaluate your ministry, there is no better time than now to start. Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure you are heading in the right direction.
3 steps are more like three questions to ask yourself.
What is your vision?
This question is huge. Your vision for your ministry is yours, but it come from God. Your vision, while being yours, also needs to be in line with that of your pastor and your church. Your vision for your ministry is a big deal, as much of what you do will revolve around this. If you don’t yet have an overall vision, there is no better time like the present to get started!
What did you do last year that was successful?
You are not answering this question with the intent of trying to imitate the same things you did last year. It is more about seeing why you experienced success. If you are able to apply the same principles on what you do this year, you will likely be successful again this coming year. Maybe your success was attributed to your advanced planning. Or maybe it was the awesome team you have in place. Whatever you decide contributed to your success will lead you to your foundation to build on this coming year. Looking back to evaluate can give valuable insight on the direction you should take this year.
Ask yourself why?
Think back to the decisions you made last year. Can you explain why do did what you did? If not, it is possible you spent valuable time and energy in places you did not need to. Whatever it is you are doing, you need to constantly be asking yourself why. This will help keep you on the right track. If the answer to “why?” doesn’t line up with your vision, then you probably can find a better way to spend your time. Why are you having this event? Why are you choosing this curriculum? Why are you doing this and why aren’t you doing that? Chances are, you have an answer for most things that you did or are going to do, but if you ask yourself enough, you might just find something you are doing ‘just because’, or you really don’t have as good of a reason as you thought. By eliminating a few things you will be able to focus your time and attention on some more important matters.
As you begin this year, spend some time thinking back to last year, as well as some time looking ahead. Ask yourself the three questions above, and you will begin to notice yourself becoming more focused and organized. You will be able to spend your time more wisely and be more productive. That sounds like a great way to start the year!