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January Activate Post: New year, new resolve


There is nothing new under the sun.

So many New Year’s resolutions are not about anything new at all, but rather about renewing our commitment to something we have forgotten. I would dread the start of a new year if I had to commit to a new thing. How many new things can we begin? How many things worth doing can be accomplished in one year? Indeed, there really is nothing new under the sun. There may be new techniques, but there are age-old desires and principles. The desire to be healthy and live a long life is as old as life itself. Each year, we return to this desire and seek new (or old) techniques to fulfill our desires.

All this hype about New Year’s resolutions, new resolves, and new commitments is not bad, nor is it unbiblical. So much of the Old Testament is about God’s people forgetting, then remembering, their God. When God made a covenant with His people, He accounted for their forgetfulness. He asked Moses to write down the covenant. In Deuteronomy 31, once Moses had completed writing the covenant down, he instructed the priests to keep it safe. The priests were to read the covenant in the hearing of all the people at specific intervals as a reminder of their commitment. We too need reminders at specific intervals. A new calendar is a far simpler reminder than a hostile takeover from a neighboring country as the Israelites experienced after decades of forgetfulness. Let us thank God for this gentle reminder to recommit to the things we value most.

What does this mean for your church and missions? I urge you to take the opportunity afforded by this season of renewal to return to your commitment to missions. As humans do, we so often forget the things that matter most. We sacrifice what is important to the demands of the urgent. Missions is the mission of the church. And yet, in our planning and preparing, we so often focus on the urgent maintenance of the church rather than the main mission of the church. Return not only to your commitment to missions but to your specific vision for your church in missions.

God has given your church a vision, and it doesn’t change with the turning of the calendar. Is there a specific people group God has called your church to reach? Is there a specific need in the world or in your neighborhood for which your church is God’s answer? Pray into that vision. What techniques might God lead you to use this year?

Perhaps your church doesn’t have a specific vision for missions. TMS Global offers individualized coaching for churches as you discover your church’s unique missional calling. Your church is God’s answer to someone’s prayer. What does God desire to do with you? I urge you to renew your focus on that this year.

Sarah Parham serves as the senior director of domestic mobilization for TMS Global.