Embracing Change in the New Year

January can be a time of change. Some see the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start while others see this time as a reminder of how little they accomplished this past year. Whether you get on board with New Year’s Resolutions or not, the truth is sometimes change is necessary. Philippians 3:13 states, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” There comes moments in our lives as Christians, and especially as teachers, parents and leaders, that we simply have to make changes. Over time you see methods that don’t work well and strategies that no longer serve their purpose. Change is often necessary. How do we go about embracing change in the new year?

How to Know When Change is Needed

Sometimes it can actually feel a little painful to make certain changes. This is especially true if you have invested a lot of time and energy into a specific project or method. However, allowing your emotions to stand in the way of change could derail your ultimate goals. Here are a few ways to know when change is necessary.

  • Your best efforts aren’t producing results. If you are really giving it 100%, regardless of what it is, and you are not getting results after some time has passed, it could be a problem with your method or strategy.
  • Your stress level is disproportionate to what is happening. Often when we are on the wrong track, be it a personal goal, a children’s group project, or a new class you’ve taken on, your stress level can be a key measuring tool to help evaluate your effectiveness. If your stress level is off the charts, something isn’t working right. What could be changed?
  • You’ve lost your joy in the journey. For a Christian, and especially for a Christian worker/volunteer in church, your joy can be an indicator of the fuel that runs your ministry. If that joy dries up then your entire ministry could be in danger. Are you noticing a distinct lack of joy in your service to your church or even to your own family? This is a huge red flag that changes must be made somewhere.

The Bravery To Change

Changing takes a bit of bravery. The reason for this is because to change is basically to admit that something is wrong. Something isn’t working right. It may even mean admitting that we were wrong. Our idea was not the best. This takes a change first in your mind. You must claim Philippians 3:13. Embrace the change and walk boldly in the new direction. Pride and fear are two powerful enemies that can truly stop progress in its tracks. With much prayer and reliance on God, make the changes that need to be made.

The Motive to Change

Our motive to do whatever is necessary to move in the direction God wants is found in Philippians 3:14… “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

We have a high calling to teach, parent and lead. Our faces, our voices and our lessons to some degree will go with our kids and students for years to come. Will those memories remind them of joy? Will those lessons guide them as young adults making life choices?

If a change is what it takes to make our ministry the best it can be, then how could we let anything hold us back?

In this new year are you sensing that a change is necessary so that your ministry, your home or your own personal walk with Jesus can be all it should be? Are you embracing change in the new year? Let go of fear. Let go of pride and with the Apostle Paul boldly vow to forget those things which are behind and reach for those things which are before.

Sarah Reeves

You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.

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