Happy new year, friend!! Welcome to 2019!
Waking up on January 1 means waking up to something fresh and something familiar at the same time. It’s fresh because we’ve never been here- 2019 hasn’t happened before and there’s 365 days ahead of us that we know are pages yet to be written. It’s familiar in that we wake up to new days every day… but there is something about saying goodbye to one year and hello to another that causes us to reflect a little longer.
This season can make it easy in our reflections to zero in on the faults and gaps, and also feel like we have to make resolutions or try harder this time around. With all the messages we receive when we scroll our feeds, or turn on TV, or walk through a store, this is no surprise we feel like we have a lot to ‘fix’ in the new year. There’s nothing wrong with self-discipline- I’m a huge advocate for that. However, resolutions are dangerous when they’re born from discontentment or even just lack of discernment.
A couple weeks ago, I mentioned to a mentor I was considering trying a new system. Her question was “Why?” ‘It seems helpful.’ I responded. She asked “Why?” again. And again. Eventually I realized I didn’t have a great why… I just wanted what we all want- something new that promises solutions (and relative ease for getting to the solution).
My encouragement to you, friends, is to instead live in gratitude, be prayerful, and discerning. Pause, weigh the message before you, and pray again. Instead of resolution mentality that is sometimes rooted in self-sufficiency, let’s ask for His strength and wisdom. There are things we have to say goodbye to, and there are things we have to begin (or begin again). Let’s be wise in the release of what the last year brought and in the welcome of what this next year holds.
In just a few weeks, we’re welcoming leaders from around the globe as they come to Orlando for Children’s Pastors Conference– a gathering that’s existed for almost 40 years. For decades we have gathered because we believe we have needs- we need to get some space to meet with God, we need training that supports the ministry we lead, we need to find resources that will serve the mission of our church, and we need the network … we need a tribe that points us to Jesus and gets the race we are called to.
So, if those needs resonate with you, my encouragement to you is make every effort to be there. If they don’t, that’s really more than ok. Perhaps we can connect in other ways this year!
No matter what, my hope and prayer is that this new year will be an occasion for genuine gratitude and prayerfulness for each of us. It will transform the way we embark on 2019.
On behalf of the entire INCM team and board, we pray this year is filled with great blessing for you, your family, and your ministry! Thank you for all you do!