Fresh Start

By Ken Willard

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV

Spring has sprung! Everything is green again, and our allergies are the proof! Christ has risen! We are experiencing God’s renewal all around us. How about you and your ministry? Is it time for a fresh start? 

For many of our pastors and churches this is appointment season. Which can bring a sense of both endings and beginnings. Changes are always challenging. Even when the changes are expected, even when they bring with them new possibilities. Change is tough. 

If you are a pastor changing churches this season, or a church experiencing a change in pastor this year, you should have received an email from Angela Jones recently inviting you to attend our Beginning Well session this month. Please contact her if you have any questions: 

For everyone else, you too have an opportunity this season for a fresh start! 

You may not be going to a new church, or receiving a new pastor, but you can still take advantage of this season to turn over a new leaf or break out of your routine to let God do something new in and through you for the Kingdom. 

Here are ten ideas to get you thinking. Any of these can be done by anyone or a church of any size or type. Pick ONE you or your church are going to try this season. 

  1. Set a new exercise goal. Maybe it is to lose some winter weight or just to stay in shape. Pick something you can do each day and track yourself. 
  2. Spend two hours a week in the mission field around your church. Do something new. With the intention just to meet someone you don’t already know. Get out of your “Christian-bubble” and engage with people not attending a church. 
  3. As a church leadership team, read the book Growing Youngand discuss how you might incorporate some of the learnings from that resource in your ministry. 
  4. Celebrate more! Meet with a couple of people in your church each week and send “Way to Go!” notes to people or organizations in your community who have done good things worth celebrating. 
  5. Take a new step on your Spiritual journey. Reflect on where you are currently on Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, and serving. Identify what a step forward would look like this season and commit to taking that small step. 
  6. Freshen up your environment. Clean up and organize your office. Put a new coat of paint on an area of the church that people see each week. Maybe get some new plants or pictures. Add lights to dark rooms or areas of the church. It is amazing the difference this can make for everyone. 
  7. Improve your time management skills. What are the current challenges with how you are stewarding the gift of time God has given you? (setting and achieving goals, managing productivity, protecting your margin, etc.) Here are some suggested resources: 
    • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivityby David Allen
    • The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals, by Sean Covey
    • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
    • Time Management for the Christian Leader, by Ken Willard ?
  8. Research the origin story of your church. When and why was this church started? What have been some of the major chapters in the life of this ministry? Share what you learn with someone else. Begin to pray for God to reveal the next chapter. 
  9. Freshen up your church’s website. Remove anything that is dated or incorrect. Add a new picture or two but remember less is more. Keep it clean and neat. Be sure your physical address and worship times are easy to find on the main page. (You might want to do the same with your social media pages.) 
  10. Encourage someone. Look for an opportunity to encourage someone. Attend a local youth sporting event, a school play, or other event. Maybe it is the cashier at a store, the waitress at a restaurant, a school bus driver, or the person at the DMV. Pause your hurried life long enough to look someone in the eye and tell them something encouraging. It will lift both of you. 

We worship a God of fresh starts. There are many examples throughout the Bible of God giving people a fresh start. God is still doing it today. Now it’s your turn! What fresh start are you going to make this season for yourself or your ministry?