“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1: 15 NIV
All of us consider setting New Year’s resolutions. Maybe we should consider this verse as we do so. Jesus uses the word “repent.” We often interpret the word as though it is talking about when you give your life to Christ the first time only. The Greek word is “metanoia”, and means a change in mind (thoughts), emotion and/or actions. It is basically recognizing that God wants us to grow each day, which means change. As you think about your life and the lives of your students, perhaps one of these ideas would be a good project for your class.
A Complaint Free World: James reminds us of the power of the tongue with the power to bless or curse. Perhaps you want to challenge your class to change the behavior of negative talk. Visit http://www.acomplaintfreeworld.org/ for a great plan and free bracelets for a practical way to change negative talk.
Physical Health: Perhaps you have been convicted about physical health issues. My last church took this seriously and formed a wellness ministry team to address health issues. We even had a group to commit to a 5k walk/run. We spent eight weeks on Sunday afternoons together walking and jogging around a track to prepare for the race for charity. It turned out to be a great time of fellowship with each other as well. Perhaps you want to look at the nutrition of your Wednesday night meals or start some other exercise program at church. (This could be a great outreach tool!)
Helping Others: Perhaps you are taking seriously Matthew 25, and want to provide food for a local food pantry/soup kitchen. Have a “Souper” Bowl party on Sunday, February 3rd at church or a home. Admission is cans of soup. Watch the Super Bowl until halftime. (If you want to add another level of fun, have a NFL Madden tournament on another television for those who want to compete with the teams in the Super Bowl, or develop a Commercial Bingo contest.) Hopefully this event will lead people to be more aware of needs in the community and move them to consider volunteering at the local food pantry/soup kitchen.
Read the Bible through: (Psalm 119:11) Encourage your class to read through the Bible in 2013. For those with smart phones, they can get the app, “You Version”, which has a program to read the Bible in a year. For others, you can get a plan on the internet and have the Scriptures for each day of the week in your worship folder or on an e-mail.
Quite Times: Encourage your folks to take time each day for God. There are plenty of devotional guides out there to consider.
Prayer Partners: Encourage your class to pair up and develop prayer partners. They would contact each other every week and find ways to pray for each other.
Keep in mind these are ideas to help someone grow & dream of possibilities. It is not meant to be something to hold over people, but encouragement to be more than we are now. Perhaps these quotes will provide motivation to change and grow.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Q. Adams
“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Robert F Kennedy