Ministry is a gig that comes with so many ups and downs. As this year draws to an end it is important to look back on the year and remember your wins. Whether you had the worst year of your life, or the best year it is important to remember all of the things God did that were wins in your life and ministry. If your year was full of lows it is great to remember the positives, and if it was full of highs it is great to reflect on them because you never know when lows will come. Here is why it is important to remember the wins.
Being a youth worker is hard, sometimes lonely, and can often be a position where you don’t see too many successes. We all need encouragement, and especially when we have had a terrible year. After I came off the worst year of my life where I was let go from a job, didn’t have the finances to support my family, was depressed, and just all around wished the year didn’t happen, I remember sitting down at the end of the year and looking past the surface of my situation and focusing on the wins. It was very eye opening as I remembered the numerous ways God used me throughout the year.
It is so encouraging to realize that we serve a God that provides us with way more “wins” than we deserve even when we don’t see them right away. Writing them down also provides you with a great source of encouragement in the future when you do stumble on those rough times. It is easy to bust out the list and remember the “wins” you have had in your life and ministry in the past.
When you sit down and think about all those wins you are able to reflect on what made them a win and think about how you can replicate that in the future. You are able to refer back to that list in a few years and remember events, messages, games, camps, books, etc. that were wins and could possibly be used again. Now, we know that many times replicating an event does not work, but it can still be valuable to remember what worked in the past and help us improve on our future in ministry.
When you reflect on the wins it brings to light many things you can worship God and praise Him for what He has done. Remembering is a huge part of worship, Jesus Himself commands us to remember certain things, to take time to actually focus on those things in the past. The same principle applies to the ‘wins’ you have had over this past year. Remember what God has done and praise Him for those wonderful things.
So seriously, sit down and make a list. Find some time to bust out a pen and paper, a Word doc, or a note on your phone and make a list of the wins you were a part of in 2015. Thank God for what He has done, think about how it can improve your next year, and keep that list to bust out when you are feeling discouraged.
I am STOKED for what God did in each one of your lives and ministries this year and I am even more STOKED for what He is going to do next!!! Thank you all so much for your commitment to serving Christ though serving students.