As we get into 2017, I feel like I need a fresh start in the area of making disciples. Honestly, the month of December distracted me from connecting with people outside my family and close friends. As I begin the new year, I want to rededicate myself to the endeavor of reaching those who don’t yet know Christ. Maybe you find yourself in a similar spot. Here are a few steps that I am going to use get intentional and get started:
- Reflect. This may seem an odd place to start in an action-oriented post, but I am prone to be a “ready, fire, aim” kind of person. To avoid jumping out to any unnecessary false starts, I am going to start the year by reflecting on the past year to determine two or three things that most hindered my disciple-making efforts. Where did I give time and effort that could have been better used in another setting or among other people? Where was I trying to make disciples without taking into account the gifting and interest that God has given me? If I can eliminate these areas of inefficiency, I am likely to be a more effective disciple-maker in the coming year.
- Take aim. Based upon my reflections, I want to focus my efforts to be intentional in engaging with others for the sake of making disciples this year. I want to prayerfully consider these questions: Among who does God want me to focus on making disciples this year? Where does God want me to prioritize my time for the sake of making disciples? I already know that one major stumbling block this past year for me was being spread too thin, so I want to aim to have greater focus in 2017.
- Make a plan. After asking God to reveal some specific areas of focus for the coming year, I need to come up with a strategy to pursue these aims. One example that I am going to pursue is to add the pattern of spending one afternoon each week at Global Mall building relationships with Somalis. This is a tangible action I can take to pursue making disciples among this distinct population in our city. What are some patterns and strategies God wants me to practice among each of the groups He’s calling me to engage with? If I can get specific, this will help me to become maximally effective in making disciples this year.
Jesus left us with the command to “Go…and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), so I want to take a moment to reflect, take aim, and make a plan to do exactly that. Join me as I reboot my focus, so that together we can get off on the right foot for making disciples of Jesus in 2017.
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