The past will help us move forward in 2012 [Time Out]

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.

We often head into a new year with goals, plans, and a vision of what’s in store, what we’d like to accomplish, and where it’s going to take us. Looking toward the future is always a healthy thing, but let’s also look to the past and learn from what’s brought us to where we are today so we can better plan our trajectory for going forward.

Several years ago ministry was the main aspect of my life that I reflected on and evaluated in order to move forward, probably because it was the most tangible and least convicting. But I’ve since learned that evaluating ministry in isolation of my personal life and spiritual life only revealed a very small part of what was actually going on. Ministry never happens in isolation from our personal and spiritual lives. My energy for ministry is affect by what’s happening in my personal life. And my own spiritual growth with the Lord affects my perspective on both personal life and my ministry life. And, of course, ministry obviously impacts both our personal lives and spiritual lives, as well. They’re all intertwined and influence each other. Ministry is not an isolated compartment of our lives.

This week, instead of just reflecting on 2011’s ministry, combine that with your personal and spiritual life, as well, as you look at the past to plan the future.


  • Overall, how would you describe 2011’s year of ministry?
  • Do you feel like you grew spiritually during that time? How so or why not?
  • How did the state of your own soul before the Lord affect what happened in ministry?
  • What was your personal life like this past year and how did it influence your time, energy, and focus on ministry?
  • In 2012, what needs to happen in your spiritual and personal lives and how do you foresee it influencing your ministry?

P.S. If you’d like a practical 30-step guide for focusing your ministry’s efforts and discovering God’s vision for your ministry in 2012, check out my new ebook, “Focused Youth Ministry.”

Posted on December 26, 2011

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