The Blessing of New Year

It’s the last Sunday of the year.  It’s the season of gym-joining, diet-starting, habit-kicking and so on.  As I come to the end of the year I tend to do my personal review in November.  I ask myself two questions to kick-start my thinking process.  1 – Am I doing the most strategic ministry open to me?  2 – Am I growing?  I find these two questions help me review, evaluate and reconfigure ministry for the next year.

But there is something about the end of a year.  It’s good to look back and work through the year. Recall the highlights and lowlights, the challenges, the surprises, the encouragements.  As a preacher think back to favorite series or sermons, critical moments in the pulpit and out, evidence of lives being changed that may have been stark or subtle.  Give thanks.  It is too easy to march on to the drum beat of urgency and not take the time to give thanks to the God who has made every breath possible.

There is also something about the first of the first of a new year.  Look ahead to 2008 as you currently see it.  Pray for the year, for the ministry, for the people.  Be specific wherever you can.  This will be a critical year for some people.  This could be a vital year for the church.  This is a vital year for the church worldwide, just as every second is a vital moment (two people die every second, most go to a lost eternity).  Pray for a renewed passion for preaching, for ministry, for global missions.  God has put you where you are to make a difference in your corner of the harvest field and to make a difference in the harvest field.

And today, as we preach, we have perhaps a unique opportunity to stir reflection and gratitude for the year now ending, and also infuse passion for the year ahead!

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