The beginning of a new year is the ideal time for leaders to press the pause button over fast forwarding into the never-ending tasks of ministry. Stumbling through life as Christians is never our intention, yet that's precisely what happens when we don't take time out to reflect and evaluate the spiritual development of our body, soul, and spirit.
Resolutions . . . or Not?
Are New Year's resolutions the answer? Like many, you've probably made resolutions with high hopes only to be quickly deflated when goals prove to be impractical, unachievable, or forgotten.
Del Fehsenfeld III, pastoral services director for Life Action Ministries and Revive Our Hearts, devised a better plan toward thriving in Christ and escaping survival mode existence. This holistic exercise helps people take stock of multiple dimensions of life and determine which ones are full, empty, or drained.
Del is quick to explain,
"Every serious Christian is going to simultaneously have places of strength and weakness. Many of the places where we're not thriving in part is because we haven't opened ourselves up to the resources that Jesus has made available to us through His Word and people."
Jesus made an astounding promise when He said, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." The word "abundantly" implies profuse, overflowing, plentiful, rich. In the Greek language, perissos means to a high degree, to the greatest extent. Life in Christ is a life beyond our wildest dreams, yet the reality is we're often just scraping by with little hope of true, lasting change.
Jesus' words of life in John 10:10 should motivate us to lean deeply into God's grace and pray to our wise Father, "Search me and show me what abundant life looks like." God won't fail to answer!
Personal Vitality Plan
Personal Vitality Chart Employing a tool like the Personal Vitality Plan is a springboard for seeking Jesus' best for our lives. It's a practical way to help map, prioritize, and take action related to growth in spiritual vitality. In order to be effective in transformative life change, it calls for:
- Intentional time set apart annually with quarterly reviews to track progress
- Honest and humble personal assessment
- Inviting trusted Christ followers to offer input, accountability, and prayer
The process begins by asking:
- What is going well? Celebrate God's grace with a thankful heart.
- What is not? Identify weaknesses or places of emptiness.
- What are steps to replenish? Establish achievable steps to build strengths and bolster weaknesses.
3 Ideas to Get Started
- Download the plan.
- Schedule an extended time to seek the Lord's heart.
- Listen to or read the three-part series, "A Personal Vitality Plan with Del Fehsenfeld and Nancy Leigh DeMoss."
The basis for a personal vitality plan is to become more like Jesus as we experience God's abundant grace and power. In Del's words, "We want our lives to be Jesus-oriented, Jesus-saturated, Jesus-empowered, Jesus-like in every dimension."
Imagine it. This time next year . . . you can be living the Jesus-like life!
When will you begin your Personal Vitality Plan, and with whom should you share it?