Before we say, “Goodbye!” to a roller coaster of a year, it’s evaluation time. We can’t know where we’re headed until we can appreciate where we are and celebrate what’s been accomplished. Steep that pot of tea or pour that cup of fresh coffee and take thirty minutes to do two things:
1. Write down five major accomplishments and successes of the last year so you can toot the horn of God’s faithfulness to you and those you serve, and
2. Write down five lenses through which you’ll look into the new year resolving to make a priority/filter.
There were way more than five accomplishments, but which are the major five I’m going to be talking everyone’s head off about?
1. Digital discipleship – from online bulletin board to online ministry with congregational care, congregational growth, and Jesus reach. Social media was the tool to grow relationships, love on, reach, and care for God’s people. Family ministry small groups flourished online among six Facebook groups related to McEachern Kids of more than 1500 individuals.
2. 10 weeks of weekly drive-thru and 10 weeks of weekly drive-in services shifted ministry with children to ministry with families of all shapes, sizes, stages, and ages.
3. Reset typical Sunday school with an academy environment of life skills which engaged a faithful return and faithful weekly attendance of those we had not seen since spring. Already moving into a new session for January/February with new skills and Jesus-content.
4. Prepared for Children’s Christmas Eve service in early November to be online with excellence, so was ready to go when the decision to put all but one service online only two weeks out from Christmas Eve. Whew! Thank you, Lord!
5. We can transition everything outside or on the road, and we’re better for it!
Bonus: Starting and managing a Faith Grandparenting Facebook group invited the sharing of ways grandparents can intentionally live out Deuteronomy 4:9 and connect with their grandchildren when in quarantine and beyond which has grown to more than 70 members with daily engagement of almost 60.
The five areas of resolve as my responsibility in 2021?
1. Jesus every time, every day, all the time! Praying the gospel of Jesus will burn in my bones.
2. Edit to excellence the online discipleship of Faith Parenting and Faith Grandparenting to include faith-filled in-person experiences. Then, coordinating equipping content specifically for Dads with Daughters, and Moms with Sons. It’s a relevancy thing and I need to be on it.
3. Start a podcast for those in the trenches of leading kids to love Jesus with their whole hearts for their whole lives. It’s a communication thing and I need to be on it.
4. Co-lead Bible study with a young “Mary” in small groups. In full transparency, I may not be an “Anna”, but I’d better be stepping up to be “Elizabeth” every chance I get. It’s a legacy-of-faith thing and I need to be on it.
5. Stay the course to live into the healthy habits which gave me the tools to lose almost 100 pounds this year. It’s a testimony thing and I need to be on it.
Looking back to last year’s post of these ten items, I’m doing the happy dance in some areas and not-so-much in others. This I know: God’s faithfulness to equip the called is what He does and who He is. Step into the new year with biblical confidence that God is with you, everywhere you go, God is there. Don’t drag your feet. Step into the new year wearing combat boots, toting a tattered backpack filled with courage which comes from The Word, and join up with others who are doing stuff in the trenches to love kids to Jesus, because we are better together, stronger together, braver together, and iron sharpens iron.
2021, we’re coming for ya…together!
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7