5 Growth Areas for 2017

I’m not a great one for New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be filled with good intentions rather than plans of action. For example, I heard that 80% of those who sign up for gym memberships in January stop going by February.

Someone confessed, “My goal for 2017 is to accomplish the goals of 2016 which I should have done in 2015 because I made a promise in 2014 and planned in 2013.”   

However, I do believe in goals. What’s that old saying? “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Goals need to be more than wishes, they need to be planned and put on the calendar. We all have areas God wants us to grow in and that means we should be willing to take time to set specific growth goals.


Here are five areas of growth that we can all work on in 2017.

  1. Walk with God.
    How are you planning to grow in your relationship with Jesus this year? I’ve established a plan to spend time with God each day as well as quarterly spiritual retreats alone for pray and planning.
  2. Relationships.
    The older I get, the more I value relationships, especially with my family. One goal I have is to spend less time on my Ipad and more time face to face with others. I also have a goal to pray more specifically for my family.
  3. Health
    We cannot ignore the importance of physical fitness. For me, I try to let my body know I’m still alive by some doing sort of exercise every day. My motto is “a little is better than nothing!”The Apostle John wrote, “I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 2).
  4. Finances
    I like John Wesley’s advice.“Earn all you can, give all you can, save all you can.”  Thar requires a plan. Linda and I have specific goals in our finances. We consider all we have is God’s and want to be generous in our giving.
  5. Ministry/Career
    What areas can you improve in at your job or ministry?  For me, a few areas are my leadership and coaching skills as well as spending more time reading. 


Whatever specific plans we make, let’s make sure our ultimate goal is that we “do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

What are some of your goals in these areas for 2017? I’d love to hear what you have planned this year!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa Arredondo says:

    Always appreciate your wisdom Randy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bill Vermillion says:

    Seven Commitments of Renewal Every Church Leader Should Make for a New Year
    Thom Rainer (website: President, LifeWay Christian Resources
    Bah. Humbug.
    I admit it. I used to hate New Year resolutions. They seemed so contrived and short-termed. I’ve probably had resolutions to lose over 2,000 pounds over the course of my life.
    Obviously, my resolutions have lacked staying power.
    Still, I see the New Year as a time for recommitment and re-focus. And though it is simply the changing of the page of a calendar, it is still a good time to be reminded about those areas that are most important in our lives.
    With that in mind, I have seven suggestions for church leaders. Consider these seven resolutions to be statements of renewal. Ask others to keep you accountable. Above all, ask God for the wisdom, strength, and perseverance to move these commitments of renewal to reality.
    1. A commitment to move beyond the inward drift in our church.
    It does not take long for a church to lose its outward focus. It does not take a long time for the tyranny of the urgent to replace the priority of the important. It does not take a long time for most ministries and activities to be focused inwardly instead of outwardly toward the community we serve.
    2. A commitment to renew our attitude.
    Leading a church is tough. Church members can be critical and demanding. But God has called us to serve in the messiness of life and people. We all can use renewal of our attitude toward others and towards our life situation.

    3. A commitment to become a more grateful leader.
    It can be natural to focus on the negative, the naysayers, and nitpickers. But we need to turn to prayer and ask for supernatural help in focusing on all the blessings God gives us. A review of Philippians 4:8 would be helpful as well.

    4. A commitment to be a leader of greater faith and courage. Again, this commitment cannot be realized in our own strength and power. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

    5. A commitment to be the leader who realizes our family is our first line of ministry. We seek not to fall into the trap of putting family in opposition to church. First Timothy 3:5 is a clear reminder that our families are our first line of ministry. We can’t be blessed in the totality of our ministry if we are lacking there.

    6. A commitment to clear the church of clutter and activities. By clutter, I mean all the ways we keep our members busy. We are often expecting our members to participate in so many activities that we implicitly discourage them from caring for their families, their health, and their ministries.

    7. A commitment to be an Acts 6:4 leader. If we are not giving focused attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word, we need to get out of vocational ministry. Ministry has become human-powered rather than God-centered.
    I remain an obnoxious optimist about the local church. I see God working in so many great ways. I have no reason to believe 2017 will not be a great year for our congregations, especially if our leaders are willing to make these commitments of renewal.
    Happy New Year.

    I thought Thom said it well. 🙂


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