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Tony Brooks: Preparing for 2019 in Sunday School, Small Groups, and Discipleship

Posted: 12/18/18 at 11:00am. Post by Tony Brooks.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

I realize that you will be preparing for Christmas when you read this blog. This one serves as a reminder of what is next. Too often when the Christmas decorations come down, parties are over and the music ends, so does something that shouldn’t. Many seem to share more hope, peace, joy, and love during the Advent season. When it is over, there is a letdown in our mood (credit card depression) as well as in our relationship with God and others. Christmas should be every day: Immanuel has come! God is always with us.

So how can we grasp a good start to the New Year? Here are some ideas to reflect upon after Christmas and before New Year’s Day:

What is your vision for 2019? Back in 2015, I was introduced to an idea from Jimmy Page, Dan Britton, and Jon Gordon in a book called One Word That Will Change Your Life. Take a look at their website at www.getoneword.com and see the resources that are available to you.

  1. The idea is simple.What is one word you can live into this next year to keep you focused—that will make an impact on your life, your relationship with God, and your relationships with others?
  2. What is your church’s vision for 2019? Are you able to incorporate the church’s vision with your class, small group, and discipleship efforts? Consider how you can make an impact in your church by the overall vision.
  3. What is your vision for your class/small group?
  • Is the group needing spiritual depth? How about starting a read-the-Bible-through-the-year effort? How about having discussions about the scripture through Facebook, phone conversations, or other options during the week?
  • Has the group become divided and cliquish? Do you need to focus on being honest and vulnerable in conversations? Do you need to set up prayer partners to spend time together or by phone during the week to pray for each other and go deeper?
  • Has the group turned inward? Are you focused on just caring for the ones in the group? As I have shared before, Sunday School has always been a missionary/outreach/evangelism arm of the church. If you have not brought new people into your class in the past year, you are not living up to what you were meant to be! Develop a prospect list and begin reaching new people. (Contact me at tony.brooks@bgav.org and I can send documents to help.)
  1. Challenge people in their homes to develop a word for 2019 to make an impact on their lives! I need to admit that Katrina is the one who suggested for 2018 that we needed a word. She had discovered a website to help us focus on the word. We decided on the word “intentional,” and this website has jewelry you can wear as a reminder: https://www.myintent.org/ With our busy schedules, we have been intentional in focusing on each other in our time together throughout the year.

What is your word? God is doing a new thing! Are you ready?

Brooks-TonyTony Brooks is our Sunday School/Discipleship Specialist and Field Strategist for the Southside Region. You may email him at tony.brooks@bgav.org. Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyBrooks7