It’s a new year, and that means many of us will be looking for ways to de-clutter our lives. We may get bit by the organizing bug after putting away Christmas decorations. We may decide to finally get the laundry off the treadmill and get walking again. We might detox from Christmas cookies and eat more vegetables. We might make decisions to be more present with our family and friends, or attend church more regularly, or volunteer more hours with important ministries.
But I’ve found that whatever new goals we may have for a new year or new decade, the work often begins with taking inventory of what we have been doing.
Maybe we take inventory of how often we have used an item in the house in the last year, and use that information to decide whether to keep or toss it.
Maybe we look at the ways we can get exercise in our home and decide whether it’s best to donate that treadmill and join the Y or get it running again (and us too!).
Maybe we look at the kitchen cupboards and decide which foods to restock as we move away from decadent holiday meals to our day-to-day lives again.
Maybe we look at how we’ve spent our time (too much Netflix, phones, avoiding people??), and then we find ways to re-connect with our family and friends (go experience things together, turn off our phones for family time, etc.).
It’s the same in our church life as it is at home. This year we will be re-imagining ministry together as we discern with God and each other how best to make use of our time, resources, and gifts. And we’ll probably be taking a lot of inventory – what is working well for us in ministry? What perhaps is something we do simply because we always have? What is something that might need to be paused or changed to make room for other, different ministries?
I encourage you as we enter this new season together to be praying about the inventories we will take. I ask you to pray for creative and open hearts and minds as we transform ourselves into whatever it is God would have us be.
And when we start making those strides toward our ministry goals, I know we’ll be ready. We will know what we have, who we are, and how to move alongside God’s work in this world.