As a new year approaches, we could all make same commitments, and then good things are going to happen. :-)
I will pray every day with my spouse and family. Growing churches are praying churches, and praying churches are led by praying pastors, staff, and lay leaders. Christians who really pray begin by praying with those that matter most—their family. If even for only a few moments each day, make family prayer a priority.
I will read through the Bible this year. Christians who want to make a difference long to hear from God each day, and they hold themselves accountable to reading the Word. Start this next year by following a workable Bible reading plan, perhaps one found under “Bible Study Tools” at crosswalk.com.
I will memorize at least one scripture verse each week. Healthy church growth involves a spiritual battle, and we can rest assured the enemy will strike churches that want to reach people and make disciples. Only the best armed Christians are ready for that battle. Memorize the Word, and have the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) ready when the enemy seeks to discourage and defeat you.
I will walk in holiness. Let’s be honest: every Christian struggles with sin. Many, in fact, wrestle in secret areas of their lives. The strongest Christians, though, bring sin out of the darkness through confession, turn from it, and follow Christ. It’s a basic Christian commitment – but it’s a non-negotiable one for everyone who desire God’s blessing.
I will speak about God to someone each day. Most of us will be better witnesses for God if we simply speak about Him more often to anyone—including other believers. Rejoice with others when God answers prayer. Steer conversations to God’s goodness. Simply talk of his righteousness all day long (Psa. 71:24), and witnessing to non-believers will come much more naturally.
I will seek opportunities to share my faith weekly. One word—intentionality—characterizes evangelistically growing churches. If you want your church to grow in the new year, lead intentionally by sharing the gospel at least once a week. Pray and watch for God-given opportunities, and don’t miss open doors (Col. 4:2-4).
I will increase my commitment to global missions this year. With two billion people having little or no access to the gospel, Christians cannot ignore this global need. You may give more, pray more, send more, or go more – but plan to do something more next year than you have this year.
I will honestly evaluate the church’s growth throughout the year. Too often churches become comfortable with only “swapping sheep” with other congregations. This next year ask recurrently, “Is God using our church to reach non-believers and make disciples?” If not, pray the Word of the Lord would spread rapidly through the ministry of your church (2 Thess. 3:1).