by D.G. Shipton
We are in the early day’s of a New Year, and it is a fresh start for us all. It is a good time to reflect back on what you have been doing, with God’s help. It is also a great time to think about what is to come in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
In the past several years I have been learning more and more to plan my busy schedule, because in the Small-Town ministry it is easy to get caught up in many different demands that can derail the main purpose of our service to God. Most of my sermon schedules have grown from planning series, to planning an entire year, at least last year. Many of the churches activities and ministries have plans that must be made, so that letters, notes, and promotions can be made up and distributed in timely manner.
Planning in ministry will keep you on track in those days when you wonder if you are really making an impact, and whether the effort is worth it. When you have a plan, it can keep you focused even through these tough times.
Planning in ministry helps to keep others informed. If you have to promote events planning is essential, so that you can get promotions out ahead of time. Since most of our events in the Small-Town setting are carried out with volunteers, planning helps to keep those involved informed and up to date with changes and needs. You will also be able to seek out the advice or ideas of others for projects, teaching, preaching or other ministry when they are included in the plan.
Planning in ministry helps to create clarity and variety in ministry. Clarity of information and teaching or preaching grows stronger as you plan ahead. It gives time to get needed research so that you can present a clearer understanding of the subject. It helps with variety, since you are less likely to repeat the same stories or even the same songs as often if you have a plan to follow.
The challenge for you is to take some time in these early days of the year to give thanks to God for what he has allowed you to help with in the past year. Then take some time in prayer and thought to plan what God may want to do in the coming year in your ministry. May God help you as you plan ahead in the ministry you have been given.