I am back from a much-needed break. I have spent the last nine days out of the office and largely off my computer and social media. Most of this time was spent with family, deer hunting, playing board games and generally relaxing.
For me, 2018 was a year that started well but became a struggle the last two months. Church attendance was down, I felt strong spiritual attacks, the schedule was full, and nothing really happened the way I had hoped. I ended the year spiritually, emotionally and mentally worn down. I was extremely thankful that I had planned a vacation many months ago. It was an opportunity to recharge my battery and look ahead.
Now I stand with both feet firmly planted in a new year. Honestly, I can’t believe it is 2019, and yet here we are today. Instead of focusing on last year I am trying to put all of my attention on moving into this year. Here are two areas where I am trying to focus my attention in 2019.
1. Developing Disciples.
If you were a few minutes with any pastor and you will find the same information to be true. Christians are attending the Sunday morning Church worship gathering less and less. People used to attend 3-4 Sundays every month, and now the numbers indicate that most people are attending two times or less a month. It is causing pastors everywhere to rethink their church meetings. After some reading and reflections, I am convinced that the new emphasis for the Church is going to be discipleship over attendance. Simply asked, “Are people learning and growing as believers in Jesus?” This will be a major thrust of our Church’s leadership and my ministry.
2. Moving into the Digital Future.
Recently I have realized how much of my ministry today looks the same as it did when I graduated college in 1995. I still approach my work in the Church with all the emphasis on the Sunday morning experience. Well, the times they are a changing. Now, much of what we do as a Church can be done in an online format. This has me processing all the possibilities for digital ministry this year; I hope to add more and more content to our website that can be viewed anytime. I am not exactly sure what all of this means because the possibilities seem endless. All I am know is that I am going to move myself and our Church into more fully embracing the online options for ministry.
What are you planning for this year? What would you like to see our Church or any Church do in 2019?
I am excited about this year and everything the future holds for the people of God. I am moving forward with prayer and numerous questions along with the faith that God will continue to do his mighty work if we are open to his leading.