Pastor, as you approach the end of this year take some time to reflect on what God has done in you and through you. Here are twenty questions to prompt your end-of-year reflections and perhaps to stir some new-year resolve and direction.
- How were my spiritual disciplines this year? Take a moment and evaluate your habits regarding spiritual disciplines (Bible intake, prayer, fasting, journaling, solitude, etc).
- Which books impacted me this year? Browse your reading list and recall the ways God used others’ writing to strengthen you.
- Are there any unfinished or avoided tasks I failed to complete this year? Don’t allow yesterday’s loose ends to become untied shoestrings you’ll trip on tomorrow.
- Which relationships do I most need to foster in the new year? You cannot obey Jesus and neglect the people he has placed around you.
- What is one area of growth I want to personally address this coming year? Consider the many facets of your life (physical, spiritual, relational, financial, etc) and choose one you’d like to see improve in the new year. Make a plan.
- Who did I disciple? Remember, pastor, the Great Commission is fundamentally about making disciples. So, make disciples.
- What is my evaluation of our pulpit ministry this year? Take a look at what series you preached through and how they were received. Feeling brave? Invite another trusted leader in your church to ask some church members for their feedback.
- What area of theology would my church benefit from me specifically teaching on in the coming year? Throughout history, the church has benefited from theological focus in different seasons (Christology, Theology Proper, the Holy Spirit, the active obedience of Christ, etc). Consider your church and the season she is in right now and select an area of theology which might strengthen and encourage her.
- How did we experience the schemes of the Devil this past year? Paul warns us against the “schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11) and we know that Satan didn’t stop at Ephesus. Consider how he attacked your church this past year.
- What is God’s heart for our church in this season? If you’re going to be a shepherd after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14) you’ve got to know God’s heart. Consider God’s particular passion or desire for your church in this season.
- What were some top meaningful moments for our church this past year? Take a look back at the calendar and notice moments when your church most obviously and clearly lived out their mission. Make a top ten list or a highlight reel.
- Is our church a house of prayer? Scripture is clear that God’s house will be called a house of prayer (Matt 21:13; Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). Consider how your church might better obey this.
- Are there any warning lights actively displayed on the dashboard? When you turn the key in your car you scan the dashboard for warning lights. Consider your church’s dashboard. Are there any warning lights actively displayed (you’re trending in a bad financial direction, attendance is decreasing, the building is falling apart, etc)?
- How was our church on mission this past year? List the mission trips and missional activities your church engaged in this past year. Celebrate.
- What is my evaluation of our Lord’s Day gatherings? What happens when we gather matters. Consider how your gatherings may benefit from adjusting elements. Every moment (even, maybe especially, the offering announcement) is an opportunity for God-honoring discipleship to occur.
Vision / Leadership
- Who are some potential leaders in our church I can invest in? Survey the sanctuary and think of those men and women who stepped up throughout the year to initiate ministry.
- What is our plan to increase generosity in our church? Ministry requires money (Don’t be too quick to condemn the idea here, yes you can do ministry without money. I’m assuming you know that). Faithful stewardship and faithful leadership include considering the financial health of a congregation. Understand the current financial picture of your church and develop a plan to help your church experience the joy of generosity.
- Where is the untapped potential in our congregation? Many men sit idly in the pew waiting for an invitation to go on a disaster relief trip and rebuild a home. Consider the various groups of people in your church and look for untapped potential.
- How might I spur our church to engage an unreached unengaged people group? Your church can play a key role in reaching an unreached unengaged people group. But it won’t happen without someone being burdened enough to do something. Reach out to the International Mission Board and explore opportunities.
- What is the one shift our church needs to make which would produce 1,000 other shifts? Perhaps you are one decision away from a moment that will impact multiple other decisions and moments.