January brings with it a new year, a new beginning, and to some, a time of resolutions. Personally I have never been much of a resolution maker myself, but that doesn’t mean I have never evaluated myself, or took time to change or work on something.
If you have read many of my posts, you know that I have a kids ministry background. I have been thinking lately about some resolution type of things I have done in my time of ministry, and I have come up with a list of what could be called Kidmin Resolutions. As I read through them, they can actually be applied to any ministry you may be involved in.
Kidmin Resolution #1 : Improve
Think about 2 things from last year– something you did well and something you can improve on. Whatever it is you decided you can do well, make sure you find ways to keep doing that. Just because you are good at somerthing doesn’t mean you should not try to get better, we can always improve. But knowing something you are good at means you have something to focus on this year– something to keep doing well. Something to improve.
You also thought about something you can can do better. Something else to improve on. If you are like me, you have a long list of things you can do better. I know I do. But I want you to choose only one of those things, and concentrate on that this year. That means you have two things to work on this year. By focusing on only two things, you increase your likeliness to succeed. Lots of people make a long list of ‘resolutions’ every year, and most people are done by the tie February rolls around because they no longer think they can succeed at their goals. By choosing only to things, you are choosing to refine your focus. You are increasing your chance to succeed. And by choosing to get better in two areas of your life, the chances are greater that you will actually get better this year.
Kidmin Resolution #2 : Don’t Dare to Compare.
More than once in my personal live and my ministry have I chosen to play the comparison game. That is a dangerous game to play. When you compare, it is easy to point out all the faults you have, because more often than not, we choose to compare ourselves or out ministry with those who have much more than we have. They have more people, more volunteers, more money, more resources, more time, more creativity, more space, more whatever. When we compare we lesson our own importance and influence. We find ourselves wishing we were someone else or somewhere else, when the truth is we are right where we need to be.
In my past, it has not always been easy, but I have made a choice to do the best with what I had. Now, I choose to do the best with what I have. It doesn’t matter what others may have, I know God has me right where he wants me, and that means he has given me everything I need to be successful right where I am. I don’t need to compare myself to others because God has them right where he wants them as well. I wish I could say I have never played the comparison game, because I have. But now, when I find myself starting to compare, it is easier to stop myself and start being grateful for what I have, because what I have is exactly what I need for where I am.
Kidmin Resolution #3 : You are not alone
Life is tough. Ministry is tough. If there is something I wish I knew all along is that I am not alone. There was a time in the beginning of my ministry that I was isolated. It was not by my choice, but because I didn’t know any better. Other than my wife, I had no one to bounce ideas off of. I had no one to talk to about what I was doing or going through. It was several years in before I discovered my online network of ministry friends- many of whom I have met in person. In recent years I have been able to connect with many. Over the last few years I have developed a local network of friends who have helped me through some difficult circumstances.
Whether we are talking about ministry life or personal life, it is important to realize you are not alone. Sometimes you have to take the first steps, but there are lots of people who will come along side you an help. You don’t have to stand alone. In fact, you cannot stand alone. You may think you can, because for a while it will seem you can do it, but there will come a time when you feel overwhelmed, depressed, tired, and alone. Build up a circle of people now who will be there for you when you need it most.
Kidmin Resolution #4: Do less things better
No matter how many resources you have, or how much money you have, the one resource we all have in common is time. Our time is limited. Our time is valuable. Every program, very activity, everything you choose to do will take time. The quality of what you do is often determined by the time invested. So the more things you have going on, the more time you will spend. If you are not careful, you can find yourself walking the line of burnout. When you live near that line, it does not take much to push you over the edge.
I decided that rather than try to do everything, to focus time and energy on a few programs/events. I chose based on previous success. Things that went well, things that got good feedback, those would be the things I focused on. The things that felt like we were doing just to do, or things we struggled to make happen— those were the things we let go of.
What this did was help focus my time and energy. I was not spread so thin. I am able to focus more time into these things, and like I said earlier- quality and success will rise in proportion to the amount of time invested. Choose a few things to let go of, and a few things to focus on, and see if those things don’t improve in quality. And you won’t be as tired! It’s a win win.
I wish I could tell you I do these things all the time— that I do them well. Truth is, I don’t always. But the difference is this. There was a time that I did not do any of these things. Time and experience led me to the place I am today— the place I can learn from my past and move forward to be better than I was yesterday. Hopefully reading a few of these resolutions will allow you to learn something a little bit quicker, thus making you a little bit more successful this year without having to learn the hard way.
Do you plan to make a New Year’s Resolution this year? What are some of your resolutions? Either ministry or personal? I would love to learn something from you– post a comment and let me know
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