Now that Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to think about the New Year. Over the next few weeks, your church community will have opportunities to not only think about the answered prayers and blessings from God in 2018, but also to look forward to 2019 and anticipate what is to come. Take some time this January to plan with intentionality and think about how to make the most of the coming months.
Our latest video, What’s New With You?, emphasizes how we, as God’s creation, are wired to seek and anticipate new things. After all, our Creator seems to be all about making all things new…
If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out this new video, you can do it now. Then, keep scrolling for a few service ideas!
What’s New With ME?
Give your community a chance to share about something new that God has been doing in their lives. After watching What’s New With You?, put a prompt on the screen that simply says, “What’s New With ME?” and invite folks to come to a microphone and share (briefly) about something new that God has done in their lives.
(Pro Tip: We’ve found that it can sometimes be helpful to offer a “fill in the blank” sort of prompt, to avoid time-consuming rabbit trails. An idea for this would be:
“What’s new with me? God has blessed me with _______.”
The key to this approach is having a couple of designated people ahead of time who will volunteer to be first and give good examples of a concise response, such as, “What’s new with me? God has blessed me with a new job.”)
Word of the Year
New Year’s Resolutions can be overwhelming! Trying to think through every aspect of your life and choosing one thing to improve is challenging. Instead of resolutions, some people find it helpful to choose a single word through which to filter every aspect of their lives for the coming year. For example, someone might choose “Simplify” and then work to simplify their belongings, their schedule, and their work load for the coming year.
For this idea, we suggest placing a blank index card on each seat before the service begins (Helpful hint: Have one person at the rear of the auditorium with extra index cards that can be distributed as needed).
After watching What’s New With You? together, ask everyone to take out their blank card. Spend a few moments sharing about the concept of choosing a “Word of the Year”, then give a minute or two of silence and ask folks to think and pray about their word for 2019. (You may wish to have quiet instrumental music at this point in the service.) Once this time has passed, have them write their word on the card, bring it to a designated spot in the auditorium (we like the idea of a container at the front), and then return to their seats. When everyone has placed their card in the container, take time to pray over the cards and ask God to bless the words and help them come to fruition in the coming year.