Set Goals this New Year that Last for Eternity!
New Year, New Excitement for the Great Good News!
The New Year means the holidays are wrapping up. It’s a time for savoring the past and dreaming of the future. The festivities and the food of the past weeks all draw to a close and the long months of winter lie ahead. That holiday high of optimism and good cheer lends itself very well to New Year’s Resolutions. Such is the reason we start off each year with a blaze of good intentions and ambitious plans; it’s a natural time to evaluate how we want to live our lives differently!
What are some New Year’s Resolutions you make?
The most common ones are related to diet, fitness, and organization. Often people say they want to eat better or read more. Some even want to start their own business or go back to school. With so many resolutions to choose from, a good question to ask yourself is ‘What kind of resolutions can I make this year that will have a long-term impact?’ I don’t mean ‘long-term’ like a decade from now. I mean really long-term–eternal.
The only eternal difference you can make is in sharing the good news of Jesus with someone!
And the good news about the New Year is that it isn’t hard to set realistic goals for sharing. So maybe this year, instead of making resolutions that won’t outlast the winter, set some Gospel goals that will keep you fired up for the Kingdom all year long. Here are four ideas to get you started!
Idea #1 - Sharing Goals:
The obvious goals for spreading the Gospel have to do specifically with getting it out there. Everybody’s situation is different, but anyone could set a goal to share more. The great thing about this goal is that there is no effort too small for God to multiply! Every bit counts, so there’s no such thing as failing. Here are a few ideas for sharing goals in specific environments.
Idea #2 - Sharing in a Business Setting
A business environment is a great place to learn about setting and evaluating expectations. Businesses have to set goals in order to measure their performance and know if they are doing what they need to be doing to succeed. So why not use that system that is already in place, but include the sharing of Gospels?
This video demonstrates several ways that companies all across the world are doing just that:
There are great opportunities to use your business for the Glory of God!
- Partner with The League to make a custom Gospel for your business.
- Use Gospels in situations where business cards are exchanged.
- Send Gospels with orders or invoices.
- Make Gospels available in waiting areas or showrooms.
- Set a specific goal of how many Gospels you want to share and put it in your business plan. The purpose of a plan is to keep you on track and keep you accountable. You will make it a priority if you include it with everything else that is essential to your business.
Do you work in a business but don't own it? There are still plenty of ways to set Gospel goals for your work.
- Consider ‘sharing up’. Has your boss heard the Gospel? This can be a really difficult one, but with prayer and boldness, it could be life-changing—and not in a bad way!
- Ask yourself questions to evaluate what you could do in your situation: “What if I shared with everyone I work with?”, “What if I shared with one customer a week?”.
It is also important that we remember we are the body of Christ, not lone members. Do you know other Christians through business who are bold about the Gospel?
- Encourage them! Set a goal to call or visit them once a month to ask them how it’s going and encourage them to keep sharing through their business.
- Pray for them! And ask them to pray for you! There can be a lot of opposition to sharing at work. Pray for each other and check on each other’s commitment to their goals.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Colossians 4:2-4
Idea #3 - Sharing Outside of Work
Maybe a work environment isn't where you spend your time: you're retired, on disability, a student, a housewife, or in some other situation. There are still Gospel goals for you this year! The Gospel is not limited to any one lifestyle.
The most universally applicable goal is just in sharing:
- Set a goal for how many Gospels you want to give out a week.
This goal should be easy to track. It's not hard to measure how many Gospels you've shared. Another option is to be specific:
- Think of a few people you want to share with and set a date for when you will have done it. Example: “I have always wanted to share with Steve and I see him every week. By January 31st, I will give him a Gospel.”
- Follow up with someone you gave a Gospel before. Example: “Hey, have you had a chance to look at that book I gave you?”
If they have, ask them what they think about it! If they haven’t, either let it go—the reminder may be enough and you don’t want them to feel guilty—or let them know about the resources that can help them get through it and understand what it’s about.
Also, don’t forget about accountability and discipleship. We were not designed to live in isolation and a gospel-oriented friend is one of the greatest things you can have.
- Tell a friend about your goals and ask them to pray for you and check up on how you are doing
- Set a goal to share a Gospel while a younger or newer believer is watching. Example: “At least once this month, when I’m with Joe (believer), I will take the opportunity to share with someone in front of him”.
This is how discipleship works! Christians are supposed to see Christians in action and learn from them. So set a goal to be an example.
With any of these sharing goals, remember to give yourself grace. In Christ, every day is a new day. If you didn’t do so well yesterday, it doesn’t matter! Do well today! These aren’t the kind of goals that are about getting frustrated and giving up. Let God give you the grace to do whatever you can, knowing that He will use anything you give him and none of it is a waste. So don’t give up. Push for your goals. Just give Him one more thing.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Idea #4 - Growing Goals:
Another great Gospel-oriented New Year’s goal is to grow in your knowledge of Christ! A Gospel goal doesn’t only have to be about sharing. There are a lot of ways that you can improve your knowledge of the scripture and your confidence in explaining it. Here are three resources worth considering:
Take the 21-day challenge and read through the Gospel of John in 3 weeks
The 21-day challenge sends you a simple devotional on each chapter of John. You read the chapter in your Gospel, and then consider the thoughts that are emailed to you, along with a simple prayer. When you’re finished, you just hit ‘Continue’ at the bottom of the message and the next one will be sent to you for the following day. It’s that easy.
Try Evangelism Boot Camp and increase your confidence in sharing the Gospel
Evangelism Boot Camp is a seven-lesson course that is also sent through email. Each lesson contains scripture and a study on a particular topic, as well as an exercise to do on your own, prayer, and a testimony. The goal of the Boot Camp is to help you get comfortable with sharing in any circumstance, starting with the easiest ones and then moving up. You can do the study at your own pace, but it usually takes 7 weeks for seven lessons.
Join This Book is Alive and let the words of the Book of John open up as you read it
“This Book is Alive” is a Bible Study on the Book of John that coincides with the 21-day challenge. The study has six lessons for 6 weeks. Each one has its own video introduction and discussion sheet that you can do on your own, with a group, or with other people who are following online. The goal is to help you understand the meaning behind the Book of John, and what God really wants in your life. It is a great study for people reading the Bible for the first time, new believers, and old believers too!
The great thing about setting a goal to participate in any of these free studies is that you are much more likely to recommend them if you have first-hand experience of their benefit. Wouldn’t you like to be able to give someone a Gospel and confidently encourage them in how to get the most out of reading it? Taking the 21-day challenge or ‘This Book is Alive’ equip you to do just that. They will make you much more confident to share—and excited to do so!
It also isn’t a bad idea to set a New Year’s goal that has a definite ending! Most resolutions fail because they are indefinite. Whether you make it a month or seven months with a regular resolution, whenever you stop, you ‘didn’t make it’. But with these three goals of following the studies, you can start and finish before the warm weather even arrives! Do them before your motivation lags.
Idea #5 - Set your Goals today!
Remember as you set your goals for the New Year that they don’t have to be overwhelmingly ambitious or dutifully legalistic. In fact, they shouldn’t be either one! Goals are there to help you take aim and push yourself in the right direction. No matter what you do, God can work with whatever you give him. He is the one at work. Even if you only make it two weeks into January, God can still use that. Even if you share with one person, God can use that. There is nothing that we give God that is ever wasted.
So instead of trying to eat salad and empty out your junk drawer, make a resolution this year to be even more invested in furthering God’s kingdom than you were last year. Having specific goals will direct you, having partners alongside will encourage you, and having God at your back will make every ounce you put it into it—absolutely and eternally—worth it.
Get started by ordering your pocket-sized Gospel of John today at www.ptl.org/share.