Your response to anything – and especially your response to God – will be determined by what you resolve in your heart and mind.
This was the second message in our series “New”, but it might be the most important.
Sadly, people end each year no better than they end any other year, because they continue to repeat the same mistakes and live out the same bad patterns and habits they have always lived.
If you want to make genuine, sustaining changes, consider your answers to the following five questions. For best results, write your answers to these questions on paper. There is a certain finality of purpose when you invest time and energy recording them.
Is my life headed in the right direction? If you continue living your life the way you have been living it, will you eventually achieve the dreams and plans you have for your life? If not, then move to question number two.
Am I willing to make changes? You will never make change that lasts if your heart is not into making them. Be honest.
What are a few changes I can make that could have the greatest impact? Don’t try to change too much at one time. It could be in your finances, health, relationships or church attendance, but usually a few changes, whether major or minor, will have significant impact. If you are overwhelmed with the changes needed, read THIS POST.
What disciplines are needed to realize these changes in my life? You may need to get up 15 minutes early each day. Perhaps you need to read one chapter of a book each night. Maybe you want to start taking your lunch to work to save money. Think through some practical ways you can discipline yourself to stay on track.
Who can hold me accountable? Recruit someone to help you achieve your objectives. Give them the changes you want to implement and allow them the freedom to question your progress periodically. Ultimately your success is dependent on you, but knowing you will be asked often keeps you moving in the right direction.
Many of the outcomes the of your life will be greatly determined by your willingness to allow positive changes in your life. Let me encourage you to make wise choices for a positive and productive life.
One important closing thought. It is my firm belief that the only way to experience real life, the way we were intended to live it, is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you do not have that relationship or it is not as strong as it should be, start there.
What changes are you making in your life these days?
If you need help writing a life plan, consider THIS POST.
I hear frequently that it’s hard to get the younger generation to serve in the church. That may be true, especially under some of our current church structures. I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to serve, however. I think we may simply need to reconsider the circumstances under which they are willing to serve or the structure that works to attract them to serve.
After working with a younger age group in church planting and the more established churches, I’ve made some observations that appear true in both.
Don’t just talk about it…do it. They truly want to be active. They want to be doers of the word…not just hearers.
Reward progress…not people. Humble service is a valued character trait to the current younger generation. That’s why they love teams so much.
Think people impact…not project completion. They want to help others…make a difference in someone’s life…and add value to the world around them.
Make meetings social events. Boring meetings won’t work anymore, but they’ll get together for pizza…and organize a cause in the process.
Use teams more than committees. They tend to rebel against bureaucracy and embrace working together through fellowship.
Give ownership more than assignments. They want a seat at the table. They want to do something of importance now. They want to help shape their own future. Make them feel welcome.
Be inclusive, not exclusive. They aren’t looking for the country club environment, as much as a collaboration of differences.
None of these mean we have to lessen our values to work with the younger generation, but our values should be Biblical, and clearly identified. This newer generation is more tolerant. It’s not a buzzword for them…it’s in their DNA. The good news is they are more willing to work with others, even if they don’t completely agree with them. If they know people are being transparent with them and others, and are working to address a concern in which they believe needs addressing, they are eager to serve.
What have you learned about getting a younger generation to serve?