5 Ways To Make 2015 The Best Year Yet!
What are your goals for 2015?
I still can’t believe that 2014 is gone, and we are in 2015. Time flies when you are in ministry. When you look back on your last year, how did you think it went? What were the moments that you really hit home runs? What are the moments that you really fell short? We all have different aspects of our lives that are successful, and major spots that we need to work on.
I pray that 2015 will be an amazing year for you and your youth ministry. I am ready to roll into 2015 will excitement and expectation that God is going to show up and transform lives.
Here are a few things that I am working on to make sure that I am on mission in 2015.
1. Evaluate. How do you evaluate you and your youth ministry? This is a tricky thing in the church world. I have been apart of some good evaluation processes, and some horrible evaluations. Evaluation is a key thing for developing as a leader. I like to ask people from time to time in my ministry the question, “what is one thing we should work on?”. This is one way for my leaders and people connected to my youth ministry to speak into it. I don’t view it as an attack because I am not asking the question, “what don’t you like?”. I hate that question. It’s not whether they like it or not, it’s what should we work on.
Here are a few questions to ask to help us become better leaders(taken from Andy Stanley),
- Do we believe that our youth ministry can get better?
- Do we believe that we have room to improve?
- Are we looking to sustain or marketing our churches or always are we looking to improve how we spread the Gospel and reach the world for Christ?
- Are you willing to commit on getting better and believe that God will deliver the results (numbers)?
- Are you willing to clearly articulate the “win” for every ministry area and get everyone focused on it?
- Are you willing to honestly evaluate your efforts every week and make changes to get better?
2. Plan. Do you have a plan? I sure hope so. A few years I wrote a post called, “Why I created a life plan and why you should too.” I look back over it every month and see where I need to be more intentional, and where I need to focus. You can check out Michael Hyatt’s ebook here. It is a simple tool that will help you set goals, and get prioritized for 2015. Andy Stanley states the importance of having a plan when he said, “Direction, not intention determines your destination.” What is your life directed towards? What are you praying for? What are you planning for?
This is the first year that my wife and I are working on a plan for our life together. It is a comprehensive list, and I will share the questions in a few weeks once we have worked it over.
It’s crucial that you have a plan. A plan for your youth ministry and a plan for your own life. How do you know if you are hitting the target if you don’t know what you are aiming for?
3. Stay organized. This is one that I think youth pastors drop the ball on time and time again. Someone once told me that I don’t need to be a rockstar at administration, I just need to get a passing grade. That was helpful early on in my ministry. I am deeply relational, and I will tend to put people over administration.
Here are a few ways I stay organized:
- I get a calendar from NeuYear.net every year and make sure that everything goes on it. I love having a physical calendar that everyone puts holidays on, or weekends away. It’s one way to make sure that we are all on the same page. I find it easier to plan for the whole year this way. NeuYear.net has tons of awesome calendars. You need to check them out. (We are going to do a give away with one of their calendars this month)
- Winter/Spring Planning Calendar, Click HERE to download the Spring 2015 Planning Calendar. One simple way to plan events, teaching series and more.
- Spring/Summer Planning Calendar, Click HERE to download the Spring/Summer 2015 Planning Calendar. It’s never to late to start working on the summer.
- A five days a week print off (Click here to download)
4. Develop a new habit. Andy Stanley in his podcast on keystone habits shares how creating one new habit could change your whole life. You can see that podcast episode here. The podcast is based on the book called, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business. We are currently reading this book and will have a review of it soon. I have heard that this book is a must read.
Charles Duhigg states, “Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” What is one habit that you should change or create this year? Is it your devotional life? Prayer time? Getting out of the office more? You can change, but it’s going to take time and focus.
5. Dream. When was the last time you dreamed bigger than your job?
When I was going through a really hard season in my life, I felt hopeless. It was hard to dream about what God was calling me to. It was hard to dream about what my life would be like in the next year, two years, 5 years, and in 10 years. It’s hard to get through moments in life when you don’t allow God to stir up passions and desires in your heart.
I am in a new season in my ministry life, and I am able to ask God, “What is next?”. Whats next for my life, for my ministry, my leaders, my student leaders, and the community that I am apart of. It’s exciting to dream about ministry, and your future. Who knows what God has in store for you this year.