Friday, January 28, 2011

Perspectives from the Field: What’s your Focus for the New Year?

A new year brings new opportunities and challenges. Many look at a new year as a fresh start or decide to make resolutions as they think about ways to improve themselves.

For many, it is a time that we focus on what’s wrong with us and how we need to FIX our faults to make us more appealing. This gives us as an opportunity to speak to our youth about remembering that it’s what’s inside that is most important.

Yes, it’s true that I need to exercise more and eat better in order to take care of myself, but I should also work on my walk with God and how I can do a better job of letting God work through me to show His love to each and every one of them.

It might be time that your group makes a New Year’s Resolution for the overall group. For example, work to become closer to one another, to other members of the church & community, and most importantly - that we all become closer to God.

Another option is to create a focus for the year. I heard on K-Love (a national Christian radio station) about plans to pick a focus word for the year. One of the DJ’s said that his Focus Word in 2010 was “Present” as in be present where you are (rather than having your mind elsewhere) or be in the present, rather than worrying about the past or the future. A listener shared that her focus in 2010 had been “Listen” as in listening to what God wanted her to do, both day to day and in the bigger picture. I like the idea of a focus for the year and perhaps it’s something we can each strive for.

Your group might decide that they want to focus on Service (Missions/Outreach) or Photo (being an example to others of what it means to be a Christian) or perhaps Love (as in the Focus of youTheology: Loving God, Loving Neighbor.)

Happy New Year!

by Mark Whitaker
Youth & Young Adult Director and Communications Coordinator
Avondale United Methodist Church in Kansas City MO (North of the River)
Advisory Board for youTheology / Marketing Coordinator
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

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