Happy New Year! 2016 is here, whether we are ready for it or not. What are your hopes and dreams for this new year? Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Have you broken them yet?
In our Disciple Bible Study last week, one of the participants shared a devotional idea she read about in Guideposts magazine. Instead of making resolutions, the author begins the new year by finding a word to be her focus for the coming year. She doesn’t pick just any word, but she spends time in prayer and meditation, asking God to show her the word that will guide and direct her life in the coming months. This word becomes a touchstone throughout the year, providing inspiration and perspective and helping her to determine priorities and make decisions about her time, her resources, her relationships and commitments.
What a great idea! What if we all skipped the resolutions and spent the next few days or weeks in prayer and discernment, seeking a word to be our guide throughout this new year? What if we did the same thing for our church? What might God reveal to us about God’s plans for 2016?
Looking back over 2015, the word or phrase that defined our life together was “shared ministry.” January 2015 marked the beginning of the co-pastorate, and we’ve been living into what this model of shared leadership means, not just for the pastors, but for the whole congregation as well. As Presbyterians, we affirm that every member is minister, and the co-pastor model of leadership helps us all reflect on and claim our calling to be ministers of the gospel together. At our church officers’ retreat at the end of January, we will be reflecting further on our shared ministry and how to build on that in the coming year.
So what will your word be? What do you think our word or phrase should be for our church’s ministry and mission in 2016? We welcome your feedback and input in this process. Let us all join together in prayer and immerse ourselves in the Living Word who is Jesus Christ, that we may discern and discover God’s hopes and dreams for our lives and our church in this new year.
See you in church,
Tami & Chip