Written by: Devin Dabney
With this being the last month of 2018, I’ve noticed that many people are taking time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of this past year and looking forward to the possibilities of the upcoming year.
Evaluation and goal setting has become the topic of blog posts, podcast episodes, speeches, workshops, conferences, and even sermons.
Around this time each year, I usually make a list of things I’d like to accomplish as well. My problem, as is the case with many others, is typically in the area of execution.
Helping others set and accomplish goals has become an area of big business for those “experts” who seem to have figured it out and want us to have our “best year ever” (Michael Hyatt fans will get that reference).
Optimistic and S.M.A.R.T. goals for the coming year are often set in areas such as career, health, travel, personal development, relationships, and finances, but I believe it’s important to consider spiritual goals as well.
In addition to the most popular goal-setting areas, here are seven areas of spiritual goals that I’m examining and you may want to consider if you’re so inclined to plan out goals for 2019.
Can you ever pray too much? One thing I’ve enjoyed lately is using a prayer app called Echo. It allows me to track prayer requests and set reminders. I believe it is effective because these reminders can prompt you to not only pray for the issues, but to follow up with people about their prayer requests. Isn’t it good to know that someone is praying for you?
Sadly, the busyness of life can crowd out these rich times together in my family. I plan to be more consistent in the coming year. Maybe you will consider having personal and/or family times of reading God’s word, listening to worship music, singing together, and dancing. Listen to audio books or watch videos that encourage your faith.
I heard it said not long ago that contributions to nonprofits is generally higher in recent years, but contributions to churches is trending downward. Maybe our goal can be to increase local church giving AND gifts to nonprofits and charities.
Being an introvert, I often desire to keep to myself and avoid groups of people. I’ve recognized, however, that often the real opportunities of getting to know people happen outside of the church, in the “real world”. Hanging out together, doing a game night, enjoying outdoor fun, etc. can help develop deeper relationships and find out more about people we worship with.
I’m not sure of the percentage, but studies have shown that there are a high percentage of people who will come to church with you if you invite them. Join me in looking for opportunities to share who God is and what he has done.
Who wouldn’t want to spend time sharing the Gospel with the little ones in kids ministry? Ok, maybe it’s not the easiest thing every time, but it’s needed. There are also areas such as greeting and set up that can always use a hand.
Houston is a vibrant city with lots of events happening all the time. There are Christian plays, concerts, conferences, comedy shows, and festivals throughout the year. This year I hope to actually plan well enough to make it to some of these events. Add some to your calendar to get out of the house a bit more as well.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of the types of spiritual goals you can set for the upcoming year, but hopefully it sparks some ideas of ways to intentionally build your faith and that of others. God is faithful and He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we could ask or think!
Devin Dabney and his wife, Shayla, have been married for nearly 14 years and have seven children. They have been members at Crossings for 4.5 years. You can connect with Devin on social media and via his irregularly updated blog.