Your #1 Job in 2023

The new year is upon us.  So much potential lies ahead of us in 2023.  So many open doors.  So many emerging ideas.  

With all of these opportunities ahead of you, what should your  #1 focus be this year? 

Building a volunteer team?

Sharing the Gospel with kids and parents?

Helping kids grow in their faith?

Discipling children?

All of these are important parts of children's ministry.  

But...they are not the most important thing you will do in 2023.  Here is your #1 job as a children's ministry leader.  It's found in Proverbs 4:23.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Your number one job is to guard your heart.  As the verse says, everything else flows from the condition of your heart.   

Here are some big areas where you need to guard your heart.

Guard your heart from bitterness.  

Guard your heart from disappointment.

Guard your heart from discouragement.

Guard your heart from temptation.

Guard your heart from anger.

Guard your heart from comparison.

Guard your heart from jealously.

Guard your heart from envy. 

Guard your heart from pride. 

All of these are things your enemy will try to use against you.  He will try to overwhelm you.  He will try to turn your heart against people who have wronged you.  He will try to steal the joy you experience when serving Jesus.

How do you guard your heart?  The apostle Paul shared how he guarded his heart. Here is what he said in 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Paul guarded his heart by realizing he was in an spiritual battle.  Our enemy is not people.  Our enemy is the evil one who wants to kill, steal and destroy our joy, passion and calling.  

Paul guarded his heart by pacing himself.  He finished the race and to do so, you have to pace yourself.  You have to stay in your lane.  You have to find a pace you can go the distance with.  You have to be balanced.  

Paul guarded his heart by walking closely with Jesus.  He kept his walk with Jesus as His top priority.  Look what he says in Philippians 3:10-11.

I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

If you are not intentional, you will let working for God become more important than walking with God.  If you continue to do this, it will eventually lead to a loss of spiritual power. On the outside, it may appear you are walking with God, but on the inside, your heart will grow cold and calloused toward God.  You will find yourself just going through the motions.

Above all else in 2023...guard your heart. 

...walk with God. 

...keep the faith.

...pace yourself so you can go the distance.

...don't get sidetracked.

Above all else in 2023...keep your #1 job at the center of your life.