Hitting the 2014 Reset Button: 5 Opportunities to Make a Significant Kingdom Impact

I love New Years. Its an annual opportunity to hit the reset button, to explore who we could be, to dream about a better future. I know the statistics about how few resolutions we actually keep, but I don’t care; leaves die every winter, but spring still brings hope. So every year around this time I make a new list.

What if you made New Year’s Resolutions for your church? What could you change in 2014 that would make a significant impact for the Kingdom and the future health of your church? I’ve put together a list of five (based on five of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions) to get you started.

>>Lose weight

Your church is probably carrying a little extra weight; programs and ministries that really don’t make a difference and just take up time and space. There are a few volunteers that hang on year after year, but the group is really a drag on resources that could be better invested elsewhere. Its time to cut back.

Weight loss is always challenging. It takes discipline and determination, but it is always worth the sacrifice. How much healthier will your church be if you endure the short term pain of trimming dead weight for the long term gain of freed up resources?

>>Learn something new

How long has it been since your church has truly learned something new? Maybe its a completely new process of assimilation, a new order of service or a completely new model of youth ministry. This is the chance to shake things up, try something completely out of the box.

Most churches seldom try anything truly new for fear of upsetting the saints. Trying new things always disturbs the comfortable. But new life requires new thinking, so this is the year to launch a brand new initiative and see what happens. If you’re not learning you are dying.

>>Get out of debt

This is really boring but incredibly powerful. What if you focused 2014 on paying down a huge chunk of debt? Think of the increased ministry opportunities for the money no longer committed to debt service. I know new buildings, campuses and staff are more sexy, but reduced debt opens up the future exponentially. If you really want to invest in the next generation you’ll pay off our generation’s debt.

>>Quit Smoking

When Peter decided he knew better than Jesus how the future should play out Jesus left no room for doubt in his rebuke, “Get behind me Satan.” Peter’s intent might be good, but the outcome of his attitude would be devastating. Jesus was willing to sacrifice Peter’s feelings for the health of the mission.

Who are the toxic people in your church? The staff member, volunteer or elder who leaves a trail of destruction everywhere they go? How will the culture of your church improve if you stop them from dropping another verbal bomb or perpetuating another rumor? There’s nothing harder than quitting smoking, and nothing better for your health. Maybe you should stop reading blogs and make that phone call.

>>Travel to new places

Is time to open a new campus or plant a new church? All living things reproduce, but 95% of churches never start a new faith community. If more churches don’t wake up to the need for new congregations Christianity will continue to fade in America. There are at least 100 ways your church can travel to a new place this year. If you think you’re too small, too poor or too old to start something new let me know. I know we can find an amazing adventure for your church. Don’t just sit there in 2014, go somewhere new.

There are five ideas to get the juices flowing. I’d love to hear your New Year’s Resolutions for your church.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geoff Surratt

Geoff Surratt

Geoff lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Sherry (CEO of MOPS International). Geoff and Sherry have two awesome kids (Mike and Brittainy), a wonderful daughter-in-law (Hilary) and the most beautiful granddaughter on earth (Maggie Claire) Geoff has served on staff at Seacoast Church and Saddleback Church. He is now the Director of Exponential and a freelance Church Catalyst and Encourager.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 

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