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Three Challenges You’ll Face in the Coming Year

Three Challenges You’ll Face in the Coming Year

New situations always require new structures. A new job often requires you to learn new skills. A new relationship often requires new ways of relating.

A new year often requires us to re-think the way we’re doing things. Jesus said, “New wine must be poured into new wineskins” (Luke 5:38).

What are your old wineskins? Old ways of thinking? Old habits? They could be outdated ways of doing ministry, or preaching, or training that worked well in the past, but are no longer useful or helpful.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to re-examine your ministry. It is safe to assume that you will face three new “wines” in the new year: new problems, new pressures, and new possibilities. To handle these new challenges, you’ll need the new “wineskins” of creativity, conviction, and courage.

New Problems Will Require Creativity

Unfortunately, you’re bound to have problems every year. The good news is they won’t be the same problems you had the year prior. You will get a whole new set! These new problems will require creativity to come up with new solutions. Your old ways of thinking and relating, and your old attitudes may not work anymore. That’s why the Bible says, “The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.”

Many pastors spend more time and energy trying to get around problems than they do solving them. Instead of avoiding or ignoring your problems in the coming year, ask God to give you the creativity to solve them.

New Pressures Will Require Conviction

Conviction is a willingness to stand up for what you believe. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you in its mold, but let God remake you so your whole attitude of mind is changed.” Before you get too far into the coming year, I suggest you sit down and write out what values are going to be important to you in the new year.

More than ever before, we’re going to need men and women of conviction, who say, “I’m going to do the right thing no matter what the consequences”.

New Possibilities Will Require Courage

Each new year brings new possibilitiesopportunities for growth. These are exciting times to be alive. God wants to do great things in your life this yearbut it won’t happen automatically. You’ve got to step out in faith. There’s always an element of risk. Hosea 10:12 says, “Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessing your devotion to me will produce!”

What are you planning to harvest this next year? Three hundred sixty five days from today, how will your be improved? If you want your ministry to change for the better, you’ve got to start cultivating some new habits, activities, and relationships now! Success doesn’t just happen. It takes effort.

Learn the Word, Love the Word, Live the Word. Pastor Rick’s 40 Days in the Word campaign is the perfect way to start the year with your church. Download a free sample PDF of 40 Days in the Word.

This article © Copyright 2012 Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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