Spirit Led Planning For 2012
Spirit Led Strategic Planning For 2012 As the New Year approaches many of us are thinking about what 2012 will look like and what 2011 was. This time of year I like to spend some devoted time thinking about the evidences of God grace in the previous year and also prayerfully seek how God wants me to steward my time and resources this next year. I do this for myself and with my family.
I have found that for me some dedicated time to prayerfully planning the next year has been helpful in growing more in love with Jesus and more on mission for His glory. You may have your own way of doing this, and that’s great, but if you are looking for a way to reflect on 2011 and plan for 2012 here’s some of how our family does it.
Make Sure To Pray Before you do anything humbly ask the Holy Spirit to lead you. You could ask others, like a spouse, your children, your Gospel Community, to be praying for you as well. Times of reflection and planning are much more effective when you are prayerfully dependant.
Preach The Gospel To Yourself As you pray keep telling yourself the Gospel. Your righteousness come from what Jesus has done, not what you do or don’t do. Your status as a son or daughter is from the Gospel not your good works. Anything good you have done this year is the result of the Gospel being applied to your life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Gospel saturation like this will guard you from despair where this last year was filled with sin and disappointment and will keep you from pride as you reflect on things that went well and areas of faithfulness.
Evidences Of Grace:
- What can I celebrate this past year?
- What areas of my life has God really been working on?
- Who have I helped introduce to Jesus?
- How has my love for Jesus increased?
- What difficult times has God carried me through?
These are just a few questions but you get the idea. I want to spend time praising God by recognizing how faithful He has been to me. As I spend time reflecting on evidences of grace I am encouraged in my faith and directed to adore my King.
In addition to evidences of grace I also spend time on growth areas.
- What things are stealing affection from Jesus in my life?
- Where am I out of step with the Gospel on a regular basis? (Look for trends and patterns not one of occurrences)
- What sin(s) do I constantly struggle with?
- Where was I off mission this past year? What was distracting me?
- What areas of my life are not glorifying to Jesus? What areas of my life or attitude are not displaying that Jesus is my Treasure?
After spending time thinking through these questions, and others, I spend some more time planning out the next year using the following categories. There are many other questions that are helpful to ask in planning but hopefully this will get the ball rolling.
- Bible Reading Plan
- Bible Memorization Goals
- Prayer List
- Set Devotional Time
- Theological Focus (Thematic, Works, Authors, Etc.)
- Funding (Bible Translation, Books, Bibles, Resources For Others)
- Evangelistic Prayer (Who, People Groups, New Plants)
- Relational Evangelism (List Of Names)
- Specific Mission: (Area, Culture, People group, etc.)
- Funding (What will I give above and beyond my local church?)
- Serving (Doing Something With My Time both Locally and Globally)
- Funding (Doing Something With My Finances both Locally and Globally)
- Praying (Locally and Globally)
- Gospel Community (Specific Role, Prayer, Level Of Engagement)
- Local Church (Specific Service, Level Of Engagement)
- Funding (Sacrificial, Regular, Proportional, Worshipful, Grace Responding)
For those who really like to strategize and get specific, here are a few additional tools from GO, our leader and church multiplication initiative:
I hope that some of this will serve you as you set out to make the best use of the time as a missionary for Jesus. May God give you direction and wisdom. May the Gospel deepen your love for God this year, and train you and grow you in godliness. May this coming year be filled with many evidences of grace, a lot of growth, and a joy that is grounded in Jesus, which never fades.