Today is the day. The first day of a brand new year is here. It is a day that many look forward to. Some view today as the best day for watching college football. Some view today as simply a day off from work. Others view today as a chance for a new beginning. The millions who view New Year’s Day as a new beginning with make resolutions to either stop or start something. Resolutions offered today will include such things as losing weight, spending more time with family, saving money, and starting a new hobby, to name a few. Personally, I don’t make resolutions. I do however look back over and evaluate the year that we just left and make some personal commitments going forward. I would like to share these commitments with my readers here.
1. I plan to read smarter in order to write better. If you are at least a sporadic read of my blog then you know that I enjoy reading and writing. The two are joined at the hip. I regularly review books for five publishing companies. In 2014, I read and reviewed a total of 44 books. These books covered a very broad spectrum of subjects. This year, my plan is to focus and confine my reading to the areas of ministry and leadership. In 2015 I will choose quality over quantity. For me, this is smarter reading that will positively impact my writing.
2. I plan to say “no” this year more than I have before. I have a real problem when it comes to saying “yes”. I say it too often and that has caused me to become overloaded. There are some things that I won’t be able to say no to. However, I plan to say “no” to the things that I am able to which take already limited away from my family and my duties as the pastor of Port Royal Baptist Church.
3. I plan to spend more time with Jordan this year. For those of you who don’t know, Jordan is my seventeen year old son; our only child. I am ashamed to admit it but over the past few years I have not spent time enough time with him. I allowed “church stuff” to take priority over my time and I know that he has suffered. Jordan is a senior in high school this year and is playing his final year of baseball for Battery Creek High School. It is my intention to be a fierce guardian of my calendar so that I may be with him as much as possible. He deserves that.
4. I plan to be more focused in my preaching and teaching. Having taken a look back at my preaching and teaching this past year, I realize that at times it seemed scattered. I am asking the Lord make me increasingly more aware of the needs of our congregation and the struggles/issues plaguing our city, state, and nations and speak to them strategically.
5. I plan to spend more time with my ministerial staff this year. I am fortunate to serve alongside two bright, passionate, and energetic leaders who oversee our youth and music ministries: Kiel Seley and Gale Parker, respectively. Both are bi-vocational but you would never know it. My desire is to move from “I’m here if you need me” to “Let’s spend time together doing life and ministry”.
Why would I share these commitments publicly? Some are personal, so why tell everyone? That’s simple: accountability. I hope that throughout 2015 those who read my blog will ask me, “How are you doing in these five areas?” What commitments have you made?