- January 3, 2018
- Christian Living
In case you were wondering why so many people gathered in Times Square recently to watch a large ball drop, we’ve made it to another year. That means it is time to think about turning over a new leaf and working on improving ourselves in certain areas. There are all kinds of resolutions that people make, but the majority break down into either cleaning up your lifestyle or taking the time to enjoy life more. It’s hard to argue with those ideas because we can all use help in at least one of those areas. What are some great New Year's resolutions for Christians, though? Whether you’re looking to start off 2018 fresh or you’re reading this on down the road and looking back at a trail of disappointment, we’ve got a few ideas to help you make changes. Here are some of our favorite New Year's resolutions for Christians.
Read Through the Whole Bible
The United States may often be referred to as a “Christian nation,” but research shows that only 20% of Americans have read the Bible all the way through. We know that the number of Christ followers in the country is much higher than 1 in 5, so what gives? This could be the year that you read through the Bible for the first time. Whether you are a new believer or someone who has sat in a church pew each Sunday for decades, we think this is one of the best New Year's resolutions for Christians. How do you know what you believe if you’ve never taken the time to read God’s inspired Word? If you need help, here are a few ideas on Bible reading plans and more.
Improve Your Prayer Life - New Year’s Resolutions for Christians
We imagine the list of people who are perfectly satisfied in their prayer lives is rather short. After all, there are issues of both quality and quantity that we can consider. Maybe you actually pray every day or several times each day, but you don’t feel like it’s being effective. On the other hand, you might be someone who only prays when you are scared or in desperate need. That’s not the way prayer works, as it’s meant to be a routine (or constant) communication with your Creator. By adding something like a prayer journal to your life, you can organize the areas in which you want to focus and expand your influence.
Volunteer More at Church and in the Community
The word “volunteer” may be one that makes you shudder at its utterance. Many people are too shy to sign up as volunteers because they are afraid that they don’t have what it takes. Take a chance this year and see what good you can do at church and in your neighborhood. You can always start small and gradually move up. When it comes to volunteering at church, we sadly see that a few people are doing most of the work. This leads to burnout, which can devastate a church when it spreads. Look for needs within your community and at church (there will likely be announcements as needs arise) that you might be able to address. If the problems or needs are too large for you alone, seek assistance or team up with others. The Gospel is a powerful force that can change your world.
Go On a Mission Trip
Working to improve your local community and help out at church are both great goals, but the resolution that some of us need to work on is stepping out of our comfort zone enough to take part in a mission trip across the country or across the world. You will be amazed to see God work in a place like Africa, South America, or even a different part of the US than where you reside. Taking in different cultures and ministering to strangers does your own spiritual life good and it allows you to answer the call that Christ gave all who believe. Consider joining a mission trip this year as it’s one of the best New Year's resolutions for Christians.
Share the Gospel with Someone
Maybe you’re looking to make a spiritual impact in the world around you but mission trips and community involvement seem like too much to take on right now. What if you start making changes in your life by impacting one person at a time. Between friends, family, strangers, and co-workers, there are many people we encounter who could use the love of Christ. We’re not saying you have to use a certain evangelistic tool or start the conversation a certain way, but find people around you who might be open to the Gospel. Even if you only share the message of the cross with a handful of people this year, it is still quite an accomplishment. Engage in intentional conversations and be sure to listen just as much as you speak. It is a conversation after all.
Commit More Time to Family
The past few New Year's resolutions for Christians have been about getting out in the world more and meeting new people. We would also like to stress the importance of spending time with loved ones whom we often place on the back burner for ministry opportunities, work, and other commitments. The family unit is a powerful factor in childhood development and marriages are constantly in need of nurturing. For singles, this may be a call to spend time with parents or nieces and nephews or to think about discipling others in a more spiritual kind of family. Not everyone’s living situation is suited for all of our New Year's resolutions for Christians, but we would like to stress that your family is your first responsibility.
Start Memorizing Scripture - New Year's Resolutions for Christians
Do you have a favorite movie that you can almost quote verbatim? How about when you hear a song from your childhood for the first time in years and you can sing every word? Do you have the same memory recall when it comes to God’s Word? Reading the Bible is a wonderful practice to take part in, but memorization is the next step. It is an amazing thing when you can share a certain verse with a friend who is hurting or use a specific reference to answer a child’s question. Memorizing scripture can also help you by your mind suddenly being able to recall verses that can help you make decisions, pray more effectively, or deal with issues that you are facing. The more intimately acquainted you are with the Bible the better.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is
Talk is cheap and with the proliferation of social media it’s becoming cheaper all of the time. Never before in history has it been easier to share your opinion on a wide range of issues to essentially everyone you know. You could argue that one of the best New Year's resolutions for Christians would be to practice healthier habits on Facebook, but that’s a different talk altogether. Instead we would like to encourage you to put your money where your mouth is and be more generous this year. We see all throughout scripture that God calls us to tithe, but we should also be willing to give to those in need and the organizations that care for them. If you are pro-life, maybe it’s time to donate to causes that fight that battle. Perhaps God has placed homelessness on your heart and given you the money to take it on. Make this the year where your bank account reflects the beliefs that you are so quick to share online.
Take in More Christian Entertainment
So many of these New Year's resolutions for Christians are serious. How about we end on a fun one? There are many choices for entertainment these days, but we’d like to challenge you to take in more films, music, and books that come from a Christian worldview. This isn’t about shaming you into burning your collection of 80s rock music but challenging you to make more conscious decisions regarding your entertainment. If you have kids at home we stress this even further. At the very least we should be taking in roughly the same amount of Christian and secular music. Listening to worship music on the commute to work or making the latest Christian bestseller your next beach read is a good start toward improving the content you’re taking in.
These are just a few of the great New Year's resolutions for Christians that we think believers should consider. We all know the negative connotations about such resolutions being short-lived, but we know that there is plenty of grace for when we fail or fall short. Whether it’s January 1st or the middle of August, we encourage to always be looking for ways to grow deeper in your faith, love your neighbors, and shoot for the life more abundant to which God has called us.
Another New Year’s resolution that you might want to consider is joining your favorite artists in Nashville for the year’s biggest weekend in Christian entertainment. The K-LOVE Fan Awards brings together the hottest artists and Christian entertainers for the ultimate fan experience. Find out how your family can get in on the fun by clicking on the link below.