Before the holiday rush, create a personal growth plan for 2016. For your own health, and for your effectiveness in ministry, here are some questions to consider as you map out a plan for the next 12 months.
When will you dream? Once or twice every year, spend at least two or three days away. Dream dreams, see visions. Have time alone with God. Find a place that inspires. Remove all distractions: don’t take your cell phone, laptop, iPad, or do work. Write down how God speaks to you.
How will you discipline your time with God’s Word? What are your goals for reading Scripture this next year? This is not Scripture for teaching a class or a worship message. This is for you.
What conference will you attend? Consider your growth needs. Reflect on ministry challenges. Which learning events will help you most?
In what small group will you participate? Who are the people with whom you feel safe? Who will listen, share feedback, give encouragement, and hold you accountable to your growth plan?
What books will you read? What areas will you explore to help your ministry? Consider podcasts, eBooks, or blogs on topics of interest.
What churches will you visit? How many weekends can you be away next year? Which churches might provide insight, ideas, and encouragement for your ministry?
Who will coach you next year? A growing number of pastors and ministry leaders use an outside specialist who coaches them for one to eight days annually. This is common in other professions. An outside coach can be objective, safe, and valuable for your personal growth.