As the year closes we are reflecting on those things for which we are thankful. The churches and leaders we serve are at the very center of those thoughts.
“Every time we think of you, we give thanks to God. When we pray, we make our requests for all of you with joy, because you have been spreading the Good News about Christ. We are certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:3
2017 is a new horizon. It will bring many surprises. Some will be filled with joy, and some will take us to our knees. Some surprises come from things we put into action, and some just seem to come out of nowhere. Regardless, we face 2017 with great anticipation and determination.
Our journeys most often take us down the road of “normalcy”. But what if 2017 could be the year that we take a detour away from “Normal,” toward God-directed surprises? John Piper says, “Making much of Christ is not one action alongside others. It is the aim of everything we do.” Yes, Mr. Piper, we agree!
Self-improvement plans seldom emphasize “others”. They are mostly “me” focused. Many people who are not Christ followers are motivated to improve, develop skills, focus on personal goals and aim for personal success. None of these things are wrong in themselves, but with Jesus as the model for all of our actions, Normal will not be the Norm. Surprises are just waiting to happen! To not be Normal calls for us to respond differently when doing ministry.
Here are 10 Ideas on How to Have a “Not So Normal” 2017:
- Develop leaders – Leaders are first of all servants. Highlight leaders who demonstrate serving others.
- Schedule more conversations – Building relationships requires time invested. To claim that you don’t have time to build these relationships is NORMAL. Don’t be Normal.
- Praise often – Look for opportunities to compliment and praise a job well done, whether someone with whom you work or a total stranger who has served you well. Five times a day is not too often.
- Welcome other’s suggestions – Acknowledge a good idea without desiring to take credit.
- Give the unlikely a chance – Take a chance on someone who others would not even consider.
- Take a tour – Ask a local merchant to give you a behind-the-scenes tour of their company. Being keenly interested in others and what they do is far from Normal.
- Admit wrongdoing – This can take the form of a simple comment that you said in a meeting or in front of others.
- Call with no agenda – Making a call to a co-worker you haven’t seen for a while with no agenda, just so that they know you are thinking of and appreciate them.
- Go to the library – Ask the librarian what are the most 5 popular books checked out this month.
- Be easily impressed – Many people try to elevate themselves by always having a critical eye. A child coloring a picture, loving the smell of fresh cut grass, or hearing a symphony orchestra. It is Normal to be critical. Don’t be NORMAL.
Take a few moments and come up with your own how to be “Not So Normal” list. It’s a great exercise for your team, your family or for you personally.
Our entire Slingshot Group family sends our best wishes and prayers for you to have a wonderful 2017 ministry year!