Last January I started a new tradition of naming the upcoming year. It's a prophetic activity that involves capturing the activity of God in my life and expressing it in a simple, memorable way. It's a point of focus; a reference point to pray over and move toward as the year progresses. Last year I felt God leading me to name 2009 the Year of Exceeding Joy. It turned out to be an important confession for me on many levels.
After reflecting and praying over the activity of God in my heart the past few weeks, I've decided to name 2010 the Year of Strong Foundations.
Leah and I are laying the foundation for our family. This is our third year of marriage. Gabby will turn one this year. In addition, I'm working on the start of several things this year:
- The relocation of my family to Philadelphia
- A new church in Philly
- A new church planting network in Philly
- An urban based ministry training school
- Many new friendships and partnerships
I'll only be able to lay the foundation for my family and ministry once. If it's done incorrectly, it will be painful and messy to deconstruct things later in order to fix a broken foundation.
Foundations are tricky because they're invisible. It will be easy to observe the structure of our church as it eventually takes shape (testimonies, gatherings, outreaches, websites). But it's the foundational elements (spiritual disciplines, values, character) that will determine the ultimate endurance and durability of life and ministry.
For me, this means I want to go deep inside my heart and prioritize the development of my inner life. I want to focus personally on Bible study, meditation, prayer, fasting, and generosity. I want to pastor my family and build a spiritual foundation in our home. And I want to prioritize discipleship in our launch team as it forms.
Bottom line: This year I want to dig deep so that next year we can reach wide.