Have you ever felt like you are just running in circles? A year passes and you promise that you would make a change in your personal life, but after 365 days, you are back in the same boat again? It’s time to stop the madness!!!
After starting The Vertical Church, I found out really quick that planning was a HUGE part of the process of church planting and/or pastoring if the church was going to have momentum and continue to reach people on a regular basis. So since the beginning, I have tried to plan really well on my “vocational/ministry” side of life.
However, on my personal side, I would just fly by the seat of my pants. Yes, I read many books a year. Yes, I would exercise consistently and then stop for a while with no real plan or goal in mind. And Yes, I had a “reading plan” for my Bible. But I never really had it down on paper.
So when I had my back surgery, I decided to take that time and plan out this year in four different personal areas. Why? Because even though I had sermon passages, titles, and topics months in advance, plus events for the church planned and calendared, I needed to grow personally to see my leadership grow.
As A Leader You Must Grow In Order To Help Others Around You Grow!
Here is what I did:
1. I created a Google Drive Document so I could look at it over many different platforms.
2. Secondly, I divided the document into 4 main categories with some sub categories.
Here are my Categories:
Category 1: Books I Will Read: Of course I had one book that I will always be reading: The Bible. But how? I had read it through in a year, many times over. I have read it in different ways. So I stopped and asked God to guide my thoughts as I set out a reading plan for 2014 of the Bible. I will not go into detail, but it is much different than any of my plans in years past. In this category there were two sub-categories under the Bible:
Leadership/Best Practice Book: This is a book that covers leadership or some other best practice related to what I am doing in 2014 in ministry. I use Amazon to buy my books. So when I hear of a good book, I put it on my “Wishlist” on Amazon. When I do this, it creates an ongoing list of recommended books that I can go back to and then order.
Theology: I added a theology book every month as well. However, some books take two months due to the size and content involved.
Category 2: Physical Goals Preaching, teaching, and leading a growing church will kill a man. I have found in my own life that stress has been one of my biggest enemies to good health and even good relationships. In the last 2 years, I had been doing CrossFit at CrossFit Yuma religiously 3-4 times a week. I had changed my eating plan to eat in ”The Zone” as much as possible. During these years, I had experienced a overwhelming release from the stress in my life, a remedy for my ongoing depression, and overall stamina to handle the day to day pressures. Since my back surgery, I have not been able to do CrossFit and my diet has lacked some. I have recently started back on the eating plan and will start back to exercising by April after my restrictions are lifted.
Category 3: Emotional Goals This sounds really weird; but I have to set goals in this area because of my history battling stress, anxiety, and depression. Because I struggle with the “Fear of others” everyday, I have to set boundaries and goals emotionally in my personal life that still allow me the flexibility to minister to people. I will not reveal all of these but they include scheduling appointments, blocked times of silence and solitude, and proper sleep/rest.
Category 4: Professional Goals This has to do with my role as Lead Pastor of The Vertical Church as well as other things I have going. Again, not going into much detail, but I have put on paper goals for the church and my personal everyday ministry to people.
What about you? Do you have a Personal Growth Plan on paper?
Goals are just daydreams until you write them down!! So why not stop right now, spend some time in prayer, then get out some paper or a document file and put down where God is leading you in 2014. It’s not too late to start!!
The awesome thing that happens after you write it down is that you do not have to think about it anymore! At the end of each month, you just open the file, see where you are at, make adjustments, and then work the plan!
I would love to hear from you about your Personal Growth Plan! Feel free to comment and let me know how you plan on growing in 2014!
If you haven’t already, go to my Facebook Page and hit the “Like” button! You will be able to keep up with what’s happening on this blog as well as first access to resources and my NEW BOOK coming out!