In an article for Pastors.com, Rick Warren writes: “A new year often requires we re-think the way we’re doing things. Jesus said, ‘New wine must be poured into new wineskins’ (Luke 5:38).
“What are your old wineskins? Old ways of thinking? Old habits? They could be outdated ways of doing ministry, or preaching, or training that worked well in the past, but are no longer useful or helpful.
“The beginning of a new year is a great time to re-examine your ministry. It is safe to assume that you will face three new wines in 2012: new problems, new pressures, and new possibilities. To handle these new challenges, you’ll need the new wineskins of creativity, conviction and courage.”
New Problems Will Require Creativity
“Unfortunately, you’re bound to have problems in 2012. The good news is they won’t be the same problems you had in 2011. You will get a whole new set! These new problems will require creativity to come up with new solutions. Your old ways of thinking and relating, your old attitudes may not work anymore. That’s why the Bible says, ‘The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them.’
“Many pastors spend more time and energy trying to get around problems than they do solving them. Instead of avoiding or ignoring your problems in 2012, ask God to give you the creativity to solve them.”
New Pressures Will Require Conviction
“Conviction is a willingness to stand up for what you believe. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t let the world squeeze you in its mold, but let God remake you so your whole attitude of mind is changed.” Before you get too far into 2012, I suggest you sit down and write out what values are going to be important to you in the new year.
“More than ever before, in 2012 we’re going to need men and women of conviction, who say, ‘I’m going to do the right thing no matter what the consequences.’
New Possibilities Will Require Courage
“Each new year brings new possibilities—opportunities for growth. These are exciting times to be alive. God wants to do great things in your life this new year—but it won’t happen automatically. You’ve got to step out in faith. There’s always an element of risk. Hosea 10:12 says, ‘Plow new ground for yourselves, plant righteousness, and reap the blessing your devotion to me will produce!’
“What are you planning to harvest this next year? Three hundred sixty-five days from today, how will your be improved? If you want your ministry to change for the better, you’ve got to start cultivating some new habits, activities, and relationships now! Success doesn’t just happen. It takes effort.” (Click here to read the full article.)