Some people feel that an essential part of the New Year is to set new resolutions or goals. Often these goals are related to health, fitness, or other self-improvement.
We require all GSI applications to include a Kingdom plan; a list of specific, measurable and time-limited goals. However, we think it is helpful for everyone to first understand the church planting process before setting goals. And only setting goals for things we can control (like our actions - not people’s reactions). So, below is a short summary of the church planting process as we see it.
All church planting begins with prayer and the Holy Spirit and without both of them, we labor in vain. The next step is having conversations with people about God, the Gospel, or other Kingdom topics. Once someone has expressed an interest in spiritual matters, it is important to invest time with them to study the Word and pray. Finally, we hand the process over to the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds. Once someone has come to faith, the next step is building community. Community is important because it builds identity, combats loneliness and destructive behaviors, and provides learning and accountability.
If we look at the steps, we can pray and begin setting a few goals.
Prayer: Your first resolution might be to pray for the least-reached for 10 min each day after finishing your lunch. Or you might consider fasting one day a month.
Sharing: There are many ways to increase the number of people you share with. You could start taking public transport more often, start new hobbies, or invite neighbours over for dinner. Or you could work on learning a bible story each month that relates to a felt need in your context, and sharing it every week. Or learn a local saying and share with friends how it relates to Jesus. The key is to make these goals specific and include how many times you will do them every day/week/month.
Discipleship: Be intentional about scheduling time with friends to continue spiritual conversations.
Community Building: Ask the spiritually open people to share what they are learning with 2-5 friends and family each month, and listen to what they have to say or what questions they ask. Teach and empower them to handle the Word of God without your help, by giving them fewer answers and letting the Holy Spirit provide wisdom. Ask them how they could re-frame traditional celebrations in light of Jesus by looking at one event a quarter
Some practical tips for goal setting:
- Don’t set more than 2-3 goals at one time. Start small and build on your success.
- Ask friends or family to hold you accountable.
- Don’t give up. Keep trying and celebrate your successes instead of punishing your failures.
- Find a way to have fun during the process.