With the coming of January, we turn our faces to a new year and a new opportunity. Certainly I am not original in believing that the New Year is a good time to make resolutions but I think this year I have a greater sense of the possibility of a new year. So often we can get caught up in a mindset of assuming that change must take multiple years. That only incremental change is possible.
While certainly one must take care in leading communities not to change too much too fast, I also realize that I shouldn't limit the power of what the Spirit can do in a year by my failure to think bigger. In the past year I have been reminded again and again of just how very much can be accomplished in a year. How much can actually change in 365 days.
Since January 2010 Kendra and I have accomplished a great deal and also seen a great deal of change. We have relocated from Wisconsin to Texas, begun new calls as pastors at Trinity (working together for the first time), seen Annika grow into a "real little person", K has finished a semester of PhD work and finally, we have become truly committed Horned Frog Fans.
But in thinking only about myself, I would also be missing profound change that communities we care about, family and friends have undergone. Some of this change might not have been welcome (some change never is) but it is still impressive to think about how much can be accomplished when pain or necessity requires it.
While certainly DMLC would have preferred not to, they have said goodbye to their pastor, completed their MET process and formed a call committee. Mt Zion has called a clergy couple, installed them and welcomed them into their ongoing ministry and life together. Trinity has gone through a self-study, fixed exploding boilers, interviewed multiple candidates and finally have called a clergy couple from Wisconsin as their pastors.
In January 2010, if you asked members of these communities if these scenarios would have occured, you would have likely been met with disbelief. Yet they have done it, and so have we.
That said, here are some of my hopes and resolutions for change and process in my own life and the communities I inhabit. These goals are the dreams, the vision that I have in addition to completing the normal tasks of my life as father, husband and pastor. In writing them down, I hope to create some accountability for myself so that in January 2012, I can think through why they did or didn't happen. Although some are hard to measure, most of these are SMART goals and I believe they are doable...
1) Blog every week by Tuesday about leadership, reflections on life and theology.
2) Discern what future education I will engage in regarding leadership (begin program?)
3) Help lead Trinity through a Master Planning Team process, reporting by end of year
4) Create a personal website for my blog, coaching practice and general ministry
5) Gain experience by coaching 5 folks in 2011.
6) Run my final marathon in February and retire fully to 5K races
7) Lose 10% of my body weight.
8) Grow as a spouse, father and member of my family.
Happy New Year!