I'm still struggling with the fact that 2012 is almost over. It just doesn't seem possible and yet, here we are making sure we finish the year strong and sustain positive momentum into 2013. As I thought about how churches could “end well” in 2012, there were 12 things that came to mind for me:
My most recent post unpacked 10 different metrics to review at the end of the year. Assess where your church went this year and what needs to happen to get it to where it needs to be next year.
2. Celebrate the "wins" with your staff.
This month is a great time to celebrate areas of growth. Encourage your staff and celebrate these victories.
3. Celebrate the "wins" with your church.
Report positive results to your church body. This is a great opportunity to encourage and inspire.
4. Encourage year-end giving.
Maximize the opportunity to promote year-end giving. Share specific goals and needs that can be accomplished through the generosity of your people.
5. Thank your volunteers.
Whether it’s through a party or a personal, hand-written note, don’t miss the opportunity to thank your lay leadership and volunteers.
Slow down and intentionally spend time with people who wouldn’t normally receive your attention.
7. Share the impact of local outreach.
From the pulpit, share the impact your church has made in your community this past year. My church did it this weekend and it was one of the most powerful services of the year!
8. Leverage student ministry down time.
Inspire students to serve in some capacity during the holidays. Just like summer break, this is a great opportunity for students to step up from passive attenders to actively involved participants.
9. Reinforce the value of community.
An end-of-year sermon series can be a great time to reinforce your church’s greatest values.
10. "Get Healthy"
Take time at the end of the year to listen to your church staff, lay leaders, and volunteers. Recalibrate accordingly.
11. Reconnect with the mission.
The end of the year is a great time to look ahead and look back. Take this opportunity to reconnect with the mission of your church.
12. Cast vision for 2013.
Spread excitement about the year to come by sharing your dream for radical change and authentic community. If you will have a church-wide mantra for the next year, begin sharing it now.
It would be wonderful if you had enough margin to do all of these things but I know better! So, don't be discouraged if you can only do a few of them. Talk about it with your staff and leaders. Identify at least 3 or 4 that you can accomplish and then make it happen. That is still a lot better than "business as usual".
Ending well in 2012 is all about reviewing what God helped you accomplish the year and refreshing everyone on His vision for you in 2013. What are you doing to end well?