We are not what we do. We are what we love. We become what we love because we are shaped by the narrative we imagine. This force is powerful because we each live into the story we imagine…even if we are doing it unconsciously.
I have made no “resolutions” to do anything; but rather have chosen to regularly rehearse my imagined hope for myself and for my congregation.
So this year, in my role as a pastor, I have made no “resolutions” to do anything; but rather have chosen to regularly rehearse my imagined hope for myself and for my congregation. How powerful might it be if I purposefully and regularly imagine that…
- The stories of God I share, teach, and preach will be more inspiring and overwhelming than the stories our culture tells?
- I thoughtfully receive and respond to criticism, even when it is not intended to be constructive?
- I receive a compliment with soul-refreshing gratitude rather than ego-boosting pride?
- I am quick to pray for and with specific people for specific circumstances rather than telling them I will?
- I am appropriately transparent so that my congregation will know I am an equal sojourner as much in need of a Savior as they are?
- I am not in a hurry?
- I am not afraid to apologize and to ask forgiveness?
- I am fully present in the moment?
- I genuinely listen to people without formulating a response while they are talking?
- The Word of God is woven into my normal, everyday conversations in a relevant, eloquent, life-giving, non-preachy manner?
- My iPhone is a useful tool for me, but not Lord over me?
- I trust God, in regular practice of Sabbath, that He has given me enough time to accomplish what He has ordained for me to do?
- I practice missional things in secret, not always as a public example to the Church?
- I enjoy the constant presence of Christ in each task of ministry rather than practicing a morning invocation for Him to bless all my plans today?
- I courageously live into the anointing of my ordination as a minister of the Gospel?
We become what we love because we are shaped by the narrative we imagine.
And for my congregation, how powerful might it be if I purposefully and regularly imagine that…
- They are growing in their understanding of the priesthood of all believers?
- The service of worship is becoming more important than the worship service?
- Skipping participating in the church weekly is as unimaginable as skipping meals daily?
- They are grasping that being a kingdom-minded Christ-follower is about so much more than basking in the wonder of what Jesus did for me personally?
- The rhythm of the Christian calendar has become standard operating procedure?
- They know I love/agape them, and that they are not a bother to me in the
busynessbusiness of ministry?
- They see in me an authentic, joyful, peace-filled enthusiasm for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
- My family, my most important small group, is woven into the fabric of my church family; and neither receives my leftovers?
I won’t resolve to do these things because if I do, I will fail. So I will imagine these things and will pray for these things, that God may accomplish them in me and in us.