It is that time of year, time to reflect on and evaluate the passing year and look forward toward the new year. December is the month where my family and I take our yearly Gospel Life Plan retreat. These are some of the sweetest times we know as a family. Over the course of a few days, we look back at our goals and plans for loving God, leading well, and living the gospel. Joy and I are blessed to spend time individually with our kids reflecting on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. This time is also an opportunity for our family to separately and corporately set new goals for the coming year. Gospel Life Plan retreats have allowed us to grow closer as a family, see God's gracious fruit of the gospel, and challenged us to pursue Jesus with greater passion and affection.
You can download the Gospel Life Plan Worksheet and resources by clicking the link below. The resources below are essential in getting the gist of making a gospel life plan. I want to encourage you to not waste your life. Don't miss out on an oppurtunity to commit your life and year to loving God, leading well, and living the gospel as you and your family manifest God's kingdom here on earth.
These resources include: GLP Terms Sheet, Gospel Life Plan Grid (blank), and Gospel Life Plan Grid (example).
There are three primary areas I believe every christian should set goals in; loving God, leading well, and living the gospel. Each year our family sets goals that flow out of these three spheres of life. This is a great way for us to stay focused on spiritual disciplines, cultivate a healthy family, and live out a missional life. This has become one of the most beneficial ways our family has grown together.
Here are three results of goal setting we have identified:
1. Communication- Our family has cultivated some great communication during these times. I am amazed at how much closer we become when we stop long enough to listen and talk to each other about our family and life.
2. Intentionality- There are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep 8 hours a day that leaves you 112. What are your priorities? You will either AGONIZE or PRIORITIZE! Each year our family is challenged to set our priorities, we simply cannot do everything. Prioritizing our values and time changed our lives and keeps us intentional about the most impotant things!
Everything cannot be a priority. You can’t have it all.
Everything should not be a priority. All things are not created equal.
Some activities and investments are more important than others.
Some activities and investments are more lasting than others.
3. Growth- Joy and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage at the end of December. Over the last 8 years, we have seen our greatest growth together as a couple and a family. It was during this time Joy and I began intentionally setting goals for ourselves and family in the area of loving God, leading our family, and living the gospel.
We say loudly and often, there is NO perfect family and we have no goals to try to be one! We do however have a perfect Jesus who has made us righteous, and He is worth pursuing with all hour heart, soul, mind and strength. Goal setting for God’s glory is an honorable pursuit, we hope you join us!
Here is a short explanation of each life sphere:
1. Love God- These goals should focus on spiritual disciplines, identifying idols, repentance, fruit, and community.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. - Mark 12:30
Spiritual Disciplines are a means of sanctification and our sanctification is the will of God. 1 Thessalonians 4:3, For this is the will of God, your sanctification…As Christians we should set goals to read and memorize the Word, examine our lives, and pray earnestly. Without spiritual disciplines we will not grow in Christ-likeness and we will not deepen our love for God.
Idols in our life are the primary reason we fail to love God. As you identify idols and demonstrate godly repentance, God graciously allows us to see fruit in our lives. How do you know you have truly repented of an idol? You will have a corresponding fruit!
“If anything becomes more fundamental than God to your happiness, meaning in life, and identity, then it is an idol.” - Tim Keller
“We discover what our idols are by asking what gives our life meaning, worth, and value.” Scott Thomas
Part of loving God and Christ is loving the Church. Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is His Bride, Jesus loves His Bride. Part of loving God and growing in our relationship with Christ is loving His Church. Don't forget that corporate body life is a spiritual discipline, along with reading the Bible, praying, fasting, and scripture memorization.
2. Lead Well- Every Christian has the responsibility of leadership. Your leadership platform is shaped by age and season of life. Goals for leading well should flow from your role (husband, wife/mom/student/single adult/etc), seaons of life, and current leadership platform.
Gospel courage and gospel confidence are essential for leading well. Gospel Confidence is the fruit of our identity in Christ. Gospel Courage is the action from our identity in Christ.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17
3 General Life Categories/Stages: Couples, Adults, Students
Setting goals in leading well for the glory of God is important; your life, marriage and family are a witness to a watching world.
Some General Leadership Categories for Goal Setting:
1. Self 2. Marriage 3. Family
a. Health b. Finances c. Platform (where are you currently, how do you lead well?) d. Passion (what are you talented/passionate about) e. Fun (lead well in setting some goals that are fun and God honoring)
3. Live The Gospel- These goals should focus on disciple making, personal evangelism and missional living.
I heard another Christian leader once say, "If you tell me your a follower of Jesus and your not helping other people follow Jesus, I just don't know what you mean." If you are Christian you are called to make disciples, this is not optional. I cannot count how many christian men over 35 I have encountered that say one of two things: 1. I have never been discipled, 2. I have never discipled another person. What a tragedy! It should be the goal of every christian to be intentionally discipling others to follow after Christ.
Personal evangelism is an intentional explanation of the Gospel and genuine appeal to repent and believe. Pray earnestly for God to cultivate a brokenness for lostness in your life and challenge yourself by setting some goals to be intentional about sharing the Gospel.
Missional living is where we embody the character of Christ and the mission of Christ through the Spirit of Christ, for the glory of Christ. We see the world through the eyes of Christ. Setting missional living goals will mean getting involved with the least of these. The broken, hurting, poor, abused, used, orphaned, and oppressed are not only around the world, they are across the street. Missional living is an intentional way to be the hands and feet of Jesus for the glory of God.
This is a passion for my family and I, If I can serve your your church do not hesitate to reach out firstname.lastname@example.org.