October 19, 2023
What is God Calling YOU to This Christmas Season?
Jesus may be calling you to something that will be full of purpose and impact this Christmas.
This same time last year, I wrote this article: What is God Calling your Church to this Christmas season? It was an encouragement, even a challenge of sorts, to prayerfully consider what all of your audiences (your larger community, congregation and your staff) needed for the upcoming Christmas season.
I emphasized that doing MORE or being really BUSY during the Christmas season is often what our humanness thinks is necessary or even best—yet Jesus may be calling you to something else that will be even more purposeful and beneficial for everyone involved.
As I've re-read that article from last year, I still believe it's very timely content. However, I want to refocus it! Because I've learned even more this year, and I think the focus of that article needs to shift to increase the impact.
This year, I'm writing this article: What is God CallingYOU (the leader of your family, church, ministry or team)to this Christmas Season? Or—it could be: What is God Calling YOU (the leader of your church, ministry or team) to as we go into a new year? Or anything else YOU are facing moving ahead?
Like me, YOU are a leader. What are your roles and areas of influence?
My leadership involves leading at home with my husband, leading at our church as I serve in a couple of ministry areas, and leading our Fishhook team. I'm so grateful for these roles God has given me. And like you with your roles, I want to steward what God has given me well. So, what am I called to do?
Here's what I'm learning and striving to be consistent with. These are essential as I/we strive to answer the big questions about what we (our churches/teams) are called to in any given season.
There are two things:
First, every day, I need some quiet. Margin. Time to be and pray with God.
My husband and I walk and pray each morning. I'm not even a morning person! But it's such an important time (margin) in my day.
Through this time, God provides much peace and encouragement. Then, He continues talking to me as the day goes on. He provides additional peace, encouragement, wisdom and strength. This is so necessary as I lead - at home, in my church and with our Fishhook team.
Your time for some quiet and to be with God might be in the morning, as you drive, during your lunch or in the evening/before bedtime. Whatever works for you is great!
And here's an important note (that I have to remind myself of continually): It's great if I've had this quiet time last month, last week or even yesterday. Yet I need it today (again)! It's like the Israelites picking up the manna for sustenance. It was a six-day-a-week necessity. I need this space and connection with God today.
Second, we're made for community. And I/we need others for connection, help and wisdom!
In other words, we're better together—as we share life together, pray, serve, collaborate and create. So, I'm continually striving to have time with others, to ask them questions and to listen intently.
At home, this looks like meals with others around our dinner table with great conversation.
At church, we pour into relationships. We meet monthly with a newly married couple. I meet regularly with two women who are younger working moms. We have a Life Group that we study and pray with.
In my work, I look to our full team! We pray together, laugh a ton, and I love to ask questions. Questions like: How are you? What are you learning? What potential do you see? What could be better? What would you change? What do our churches need?
As we work with our churches and ministries, we aim to have the same approach. We pray to have humble hearts for learning, we ask intentional questions and listen, and then we move forward together.
So, of course, you have big questions and planning ahead of you, like:What is God calling your church to this Christmas season? Or what will your goals/priorities be next year?Or any other number of other big, significant questions!
As you go to answer these questions, I would encourage you personally with the items I've shared here. Start with YOU! Go to God. Find space and margin with Him today. Then, connect with others. Ask them questions and pray together. See what you hear and learn!
In this way, I believe that your big, significant questions, as you lead your family, in your church and with your work team, will have the direction and support you need. Lord—please make it so! Amen.