I love the new year, and 2022 will kick off with a bang for the Carson family. On Jan. 2, we will add a daughter to our family as my son marries his sweetheart. We are all excited about Mariel becoming a part of our family. She is sweet and kind, but sassy enough to keep up with my wife and daughter.
You may be looking forward to your own excitement for 2022. Graduations, weddings, vacations and even retirements may be some of the things that have you excited for the new year.
As we look ahead at 2022, I challenge you to look beyond the fun and excitement and to spend some time evaluating your life and ministry. It may be the hard work of the new year, but it can be some of the most rewarding. Ask yourself the following questions:
• Am I spending time in the Word? Most of us in ministry spend hours in the Word. As we study and prepare for messages and lessons every week. However, if we are not careful, that can become the only consumption of the Word in our lives. God wants us to read and meditate on His Word for our transformation, not just preparation. You can become knowledgeable of God’s Word without letting it change you. We need to spend time allowing the Word to shape us and then preach and teach out of the overflow.
• Am I investing in my family? Our ministries are about other people and helping them see God working in their lives. We can become wrapped up in others to the detriment of our spouse and children. Workaholics can be found in every vocation, including ministry. Our first ministry is at home. Our children and spouses need the investment of our time and energy. Don’t neglect them to care for the children of others.
• Am I taking care of myself? I know that at this point in the year many of us make resolutions about exercise and eating right. It can seem even cliche. However, it is important as ministers of the gospel that we care for our bodies. A strong body can make your ministry stronger. If you don’t take care of yourself, it will be harder to accomplish what God has for you. Proper eating, sleep and exercise can make a significant difference in your ministry output. I have struggled in these areas over the years, but when I remind myself of the “why,” it is easier to stay on track.
You may have other areas of self-evaluation that you need to dive into. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and allow God to reveal those things to you. More importantly, be willing to make the necessary changes.
A new year provides new opportunities for you and your ministry.