For anyone who follows this blog regularly, you have probably picked up on the fact that I don’t usually choose the theme or content based on the fads or trends of the season. To be blunt, I am ordinarily inspired more by conversations and experiences I have than the perennial rituals and practices of modern American culture.
That being said, I have recently been given the opportunity to re-think what I am doing and re-prioritize the ways in which I structure the flow of my own daily efforts in discipleship. Conveniently, it falls right during the New Year, which may doubly inspire you to accompany me as I strive to realize these desires for discipleship in 2016.
To “Be With” Others
I want to get out of the office more. I desire to spend more time with those that I serve. More specifically, I desire to “be with” them in their ministry. I desire to spend more time getting to know them as people, not through email or even simply conversation, but through experiences together. Also, not just to lead or guide, but simply to “be with.”
Be Busy Only In Response
I’ve made this commitment before. I’m a creative at heart, so I have a ton of ideas and could spend all day by myself creating things that I believe will be helpful. But, I must admit that those things that are not as easy for me are usually what will actually be more helpful (i.e. getting out my office and engaging in relationship with other people).
Help Individuals Rather Than Build Programs or Initiatives
Since I have been focusing specifically on discipleship, the Lord has made very clear to me how much He desires to work in each of us as a part of the journey. The initiatives and programs that I promote are good, but I often miss out on what the Lord is doing in the moment because I am more focused on the success of the programs than what they are doing in me and in those that I serve. And obviously, truly being there to support and help and individuals will hopefully expand their capacity to receive Christ and lead others.
Become More Aware of Reality
Another one of my deep desires is to be more in touch with the realities that exist in the parishes with which I work. Their struggles are real, and the situations are complex. In “being with” them and not hesitating to care enough to learn and ask questions, it will help everyone be more in tune with the realities we are facing, which will provide greater clarity about what the Lord may be desiring to do in and through each of us.
Live With Common Mind and Mission
Philippians 2:12 says “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
One of my greatest desires is to be more unified in mission and love with those whom I serve. Oftentimes, this gets obscured because an individual agenda becomes a roadblock to true unity (admittedly, too often on my own part). I hope over the next year that I can do much better in surrendering my own plans and timelines in order to more effectively unite my desires and life with those with whom I work.
I pray that as I share my hopes for 2016 and beyond, you will find them helpful for your own reflection. I believe that all of these “resolutions” will help me to grow in discipleship and become more aware of the ways in which Christ is desiring to give himself to me, and through me, to others.