For 2020, we all had ideas, visions and dreams of what we wanted to accomplish. We created resolutions for improving our lives and the lives of other people. I want to encourage you, pastor, to still dream and vision cast for 2021. God is constantly moving and working all things for His and our good. Knowing God is in control, we can dream for 2021.
"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established" (Prov. 16:1-3, ESV).
Let's make 2021 one of your church's best years by strengthening your church not only spiritually, but also by establishing a strong legal foundation. Having a strong foundation will support and protect all that God has given you to lead.
Here are five ways you can strengthen your church in 2021:
1. Set aside adequate time to seek the Lord. Seeking God first and foremost for a new vision for the year will set you up for success. A powerful scripture gives us keys for knowing how to navigate the transition of expanded vision that leads to personal and corporate church growth. Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NASB1995) says,
I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.
Then the Lord answered me and said,
"Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay."
Prayer positions you as the guard standing on the post to see what God will say (Hab. 2:1). Daily devotions seem like the obvious first step, but let's take it further. I challenge you to set aside a prolonged time per week, specifically praying for God to renew your vision for the church. Once God has revealed something to you, take some time to meditate on that vision. Understanding the vision is necessary for you to relay that vision to others in the church.
2. Define the vision. Be specific about what God is showing you. Does the vision mean fine-tuning your church's youth ministry, growing your outreach department or building up leaders? Consider the following questions to help you create a plan of action:
— What will it take to see the vision come to life?
— Will I need to restructure church services or change our curriculum?
— How will this vision change affect our current budget plans and calendar?
— Will this change require new staff?
— What commitment will the vision require from your current team?
The verse in Habakkuk says to write the vision so those who read it can "run." This renewed vision will give fresh energy to the legs of those who have been running this race with you.
Once you get a new vision from the Lord, put it down on paper. Consider creating a vision board to make your goals more tangible. Hang the board where you and your staff can be reminded of the vision on a regular basis.
3. Establish a healthy budget. 2020 brought unique financial challenges for all churches and ministries. Creating a budget with a savings plan will also help you plan for any unexpected challenges. You'll also feel secure when you know exactly where your finances are going each month.
Due to times of crisis or even everyday financial challenges, putting money aside for savings is a smart investment for your ministry's future. It'll also help you have financial security in your church's current season.
To work with a ministry-minded bookkeeper to establish a budget for your church, give us a call at (888) 724-5154 or click the link below to schedule a call!
4. Expand your online impact. With the changes that took place in 2020, online church and ministry are now the new normal.
By establishing a stronger online presence, you position your church to become an incredible influence during this time. With an active website, your current members and future visitors can access your online services and engage with your video sermons, bible studies and more.
If you haven't already, make it a resolution to establish your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Youtube and even Tik Tok. If you already have accounts set up, consider posting more frequently. You can use resources like Hootsuite and Loomly, so you can create and schedule posts in advance on your own time.
Get creative with the type of content you create! Try resources like Canva to create content for free. Recruit volunteers who are passionate and knowledgeable in this area if you need help. Watch tutorial videos online to learn more about new social media skills.
There is a whole generation online that is looking for real hope. By sharing the Gospel on these platforms regularly, you can truly make a difference.
To get more tips on growing your online impact, check out our Church Branding Ebook. If you need help creating a church or ministry website, check out our StartSITES Creative Service! Give us a call at (888) 724-5154 or click the link below to learn more.
5. Take time to rest. This past year took a toll on many people in various ways. Some experienced significant loss, while others strived just to keep pushing forward day by day. Because of the emotional and physical exhaustion brought from 2020, it is imperative to rest, spend time with family, and believe God for more to come in the New Year. Rest can look different for each person, but we highly encourage you to take dedicated time to relax, renew and reset. Focus on fortifying your relationships with your family and friends. Lean on the strength and peace of God to bring hope for what is to come. You'll need to do this to fulfill the great plans He has for you this year.
Hope for the Future
Now is the best time to prepare for the new year. While there is much uncertainty, we know we can count on God to be with us in all of the unknowns. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He has called you for such a time as this, and He will empower you to fulfill your calling. Lean into His strength and guidance for this new, hopeful year.
Don't stop at spiritual fortification. Strengthen your church's legal foundation, too, to best protect what God has called and given you to lead. If you have questions about any of the steps mentioned above, we would love to help! Give us a call at (888) 724-5154 or click here.
For the original article, visit startchurch.com.
Rev. Christine Bove works on StartCHURCH's Digital Products Team. Every day, Christine serves to create products to better the lives of pastors and ministry leaders. She also serves as a StartSITES Creative Specialist and serves on the Tech Support Team. She is passionate about curating experiences to help pastors and ministry leaders, equipping them to serve their best and make their dreams come true.
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