How to Use a Bucket List for a More Meaningful Life

If we did the things we were capable of, we would astound ourselves. – Thomas Edison

This week I got to check something off my bucket list- a great escape to the island of Santorini, Greece. Santorini is undeniably one of the most beautiful places on earth.

I’m not sure what first sparked my interest in visiting the Greek Isles. Was it pictures in 5th grade world geography or one of those jet way wall murals that haunts you forever? Maybe it was the setting of a movie I can’t remember, or a picture in my Greek textbook at seminary? (Wait, that book didn’t have pictures!)

I guess it doesn’t matter. For as long as I can remember I have had an Eden-echo in my soul, calling me to this place. Hence its high position on my bucket list.

Speaking of “bucket list,” where did the idea come from? The 2007 movie entitled, “The Bucket List” by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson embedded the term in our social vocabulary.  Two terminally ill men escape the cancer ward with a to-do-list to accomplish before they “kick-the-bucket.”

What about you- do you have a bucket list?  Have you recorded a set of goals to accomplish or things to do before you die? If not, why not start one? If so, when was the last time you checked something off?

While basking in sunset of my Aegean paradise, I reflected on some of the steps I have taken to fulfill my dreams. And I thought about you- friends, acquaintances, fellow ministers, and anonymous blog readers.  What is really required to propel us toward our dreams?

I sketched out a short blog series that I hope will assist you, whether you’re excited to start, ready to refresh, or even feeling too overwhelmed to think about the future.

Here are some upcoming posts…

  • How do you get started with a bucket list anyway? In the first post I will overview five kinds of aspirations.
  • Is it selfish to be a Christian and have a bucket list? In the second post I will share four ways to redeem your life dreams.
  • Once you have bucket list, where is it easy to get stuck? In the third post I will cover the five obstacles to enjoying your life more.
  • What can I do today to make the most of my bucket list? In the fourth post, I will reveal the four essentials to getting your list done!

Wherever you are this summer, I hope you have time for some  rest, reflection and planning.

If this series interests you, I could use your help. How would expand this blog series and what question would you explore? What is one of your bucket list accomplishments that you would be excited to share?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Will Mancini

Will Mancini

Will Mancini wants you and your ministry to experience the benefits of stunning, God-given clarity. As a pastor turned vision coach, Will has worked with an unprecedented variety of churches from growing megachurches and missional communities, to mainline revitalization and church plants. He is the founder of Auxano, creator of VisionRoom.com and the author of God Dreams and Church Unique.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
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
 

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