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Old and New

January 3, 2017

One of the best ways to learn is by examining our experiences. One of the best ways to grow is to establish goals that we can pursue. Here is an invitation to combine these two into an exercise that can help you in your faith development journey.

calendarThis past Sunday, we took time to journal in church. People were invited to reflect on the year past and write observations. Then we took time to look into the upcoming year and anticipate where God might be leading us. We kept the ‘journals’ at church in individually sealed envelopes. We’ll return them next New Years.

Here is the list of thought starters we used. The idea is to read the list and pick two or three that most help you for each respective year. If you would like to think about what God is up to in your life, you might enjoy joining in the exercise. If you can think of other good prompts, I invite you to share them with us.


  • Make a list of things you are thankful for in the past year.
  • How was God present to you last year? Helping or guiding you?
  • How would you evaluate the ‘speed of your life’ in the past year? Too slow, too fast, or just right? What can you say to God about this?
  • Is there a story in the Bible that reminds you of your past year?
  • What was the most meaningful thing you did in 2016? The most difficult? What might God be saying in these circumstances?


  • Ask God to give you a word for the year ahead – one that will help you stay focused on him.
  • What goal might God have for you in the coming year?
  • What concern do you have that you want to entrust to God?
  • What is one thing you can do to create more margin in your life? How will you use that margin to pay closer attention to God?
  • Who will you be praying for in the year ahead?
  • Is there a story, character, or verse in the Bible that you are led to embrace for the year ahead?
  • What is something you are looking forward to in 2016? Share with God how you hope he will use this to shape your faith?
  • How would you like to grow spiritually in the year ahead? What can you do to encourage this growth?
  • Is there anything you believe God wants you to stop doing? What might God want you to pay special attention to preserving? What might God want you to start doing?
  • Who will walk with you for support and encourage you?


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