My New Year’s Resolutions 2022

by | Dec 7, 2021 | 2 comments

As I look toward 2022, I have mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation. Will the pandemic finally be over, life returning to a semblance of normal? Will we, as a nation and as individuals, take on the big issues of gun violence, homophobia, and racism, and start treating one another more as a beloved community? Will the United Methodist church split? What will my own ministry look like?  Uncertainty aside and focusing on the positive, I sat down to write my New Year’s Resolutions for 2022.

I’ve been in ministry for 27 years. The first 12 years as a pastor, then 15 years as support for pastors and other church leaders. My ministry has been about empowering church leaders to create shifts in their congregations and move towards greater health and vitality, personally and corporately. It’s deeply satisfying work and my life’s passion.

When the pandemic hit, I was busy traveling around the country, leading retreats and workshops, delivering keynote addresses. Much as I loved my work, the pace of travel was hard to keep up.

When the coronavirus slowed travel to a halt, my commute shrunk to the one mile between my home and office. I was relieved. My ministry moved online, though I realized there were others whose lives and work couldn’t simply adapt. Those who worked with and fed the homeless, the immigrants who worked in our fields, the healthcare workers struggling to save lives with little sleep and full hospitals, police, firefighters, nursing home caregivers. So many people risking their lives to help others live.

My team and I stayed active in our various ways, practicing reconciliation by listening to people with views other than our own, donning masks and distancing for Black Lives Matter marches, walking in solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters, donating gift cards and clothing, sending funds where we thought they’d be put to the best use. Helping others, outside of my ministry, took more creativity, but we stayed as “active” as possible within our communities.

Through my ministry, we helped lead the wave of adaptation by hosting innovative online retreats, webinars, and classes. We added free workshop options to make the ministry accessible to others, isolated in their homes as we were. And our Creating a Culture of Renewal® participants told us that they fared far better than their colleagues who didn’t have the level of support that our groups offer.

happy people together

All that notwithstanding, I really missed BEING with people. There’s no substitute for the immediacy and energy that happens in a live setting. That kind of energy fuels my creativity and my spirit.

So this year, while recognizing the suffering and lives lost, I also want to embrace all the good that the pandemic has brought our way and the options it’s given me to reach out in faith to an even wider audience. Thus, I share my New Year’s resolutions for my life’s ministry.

Be it resolved that in the service of church leaders everywhere in 2022, in partnership with God I will be creative, daring myself to think outside the box, and taking on things that scare me.

Be it resolved that I will deepen my commitment to authentic Christian community by empowering my ministry team to lead powerfully.

Be it resolved that I will envision and give voice to new futures and not let the fear of failure or rejection hold me back. Like other leaders, I worry about what others think of me. To hell with that. With a high percentage of Protestant senior pastors getting burned out and , this work is more important than ever.

Out of these New Year’s resolutions, my ministry goals include hosting a live event: A Celebration of Renewal; publishing a book: Growing the Post-Pandemic Church (Market Square 2022); doubling the number of visions that come to life through Creating a Culture of Renewal®; laying the foundation for the Creating a Culture of Renewal® Fellowship for Clergy of Color; and creating new offerings.

In a previous blog, How My Faith Has Changed, I reported on a recent risky conversation with my bishop. Rather than being dismissive or uninterested in how my beliefs had changed, she leaned in. She wanted to hear more. I told her that I believe discipleship is the first step in the Christian journey, not the destination. That Jesus calls us to step into the faith and practices of apostleship. That apostleship requires a higher consciousness and a deeper faith. That we need apostleship pathway systems to follow up on discipleship pathway systems. She asked me if I had that sort of system mapped out yet. I told her no. “Let me know when you do,” she said. That is my dream project for 2022.

Will I fulfill all my New Year’s resolutions? Will I hit every goal? If last year and the year before are any indication, probably not. However, life will present unexpected opportunities and new goals will take the place of old ones. This coming year is a fresh opportunity to trust God, partner in faith, and set out on a vigorous course of action. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible. Even the Beloved Community in a nation rife with unrest.

Do you want support to set new resolutions and to envision new goals? To partner in faith with God in an unknown future? Then I invite you to join me in the new year to explore Platinum Rule Leadership for Changing Times.

 

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2 Comments

  1. LeeRoy wolfe

    Yes I am moving toward a change in ministry, more faith in my walk. I need some advice, please help.

    Reply
    • Rebekah Simon-Peter

      Can you say more about the upcoming change in ministry or the kind of faith you’ll need?

      Reply

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