10 Keys to Ending the Ministry Year Strong

Where has this year gone?  Only a few weeks until this year will be a wrap.  

Seems like every December I get to the end of the year and wonder where time has gone. 

But before you start looking intensely at the coming new year, it is important to remember that there are still 6 weeks remaining in this year. 

Don't get so focused on next year that you don't finish this year strong. 

Let's look at 10 keys to ending your current ministry year strong.

#1 - Review all of your programs, event, classes, etc.  

Which ones worked best?  Which ones flopped? What do you need to change or adjust to make it more effective?  What do we need to stop doing?  What do we need do more often?

"Strong beginnings are ideal. Having a strong finish is epic!"  -John R. Miles

#2 - Enlist more volunteers.  

You are probably doing one or more events or programs for the Christmas season.  This is a great time to enlist new volunteers.  Ask the people who are serving for the first time at Christmas services to join your team full-time.  You can read more about this in my serving book - "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams" is available at this link.

#3 - De-clutter.  

You've probably accumulated a lot of "stuff" over the course of the year that you don't need anymore.  Go through the stuff and get rid of things you will never use again or donate them to another ministry.  If you have any staff or volunteers who are hoarders, don't invite them to help with this.

#4 - Have crucial conversations.  

Is there someone you need to reconcile with?  Are there any unresolved issues that need to be addressed?  Do you need to say "I'm sorry" to someone?  Are their any tough topics that you need to discuss with a key volunteer?  

If you are not a confrontational person and there is a conversation you need to have, commit to bringing it up before the end of the year.

#5 - Finish up the project that you've been procrastinating about.  

Put a plan together and commit to finishing it up by the end of the year.  Force yourself to keep this timeline.  

#6 - Finish planning out the coming ministry calendar.  

I would highly recommend having your calendar on paper a year and a half in advance.  Have your calendar wrapped up and done by the end of the year at the very latest. Do this and your stress levels will drop.  

#7 - Invest in yourself. 

Finish the book you started. 

Listen to some relevant podcasts.

Enroll in a coaching experience.  Join my coaching program - get more info. at this link

#8 - Spend some extra time with your family and friends.

I've never heard anyone who was dying say they wish they had spent more time at work.  I know that the Christmas season can be busy with church outreach events, children's choirs singing, extra Christmas services, plays, etc.  

If you are not careful, these "good" things can sneak in and take away all of your family time.  I am not saying you shouldn't do these events and programs.  I also know in ministry, extra hours during Christmas are usually expected.  

But don't let it take away all of your family time.  Plan out your schedule and adjust your time so there is still time to spend with your loved ones.  Do this and you'll look back one day and not having any regrets. 

#9 - Do a personal year-end review.  

What went well in the last year?

What were some of your major challenges?

What were some key lessons that you’ve learned this year?

What is one thing that you want to focus on moving into the year ahead? 

10 - Throw a party for your volunteers.  

No agenda but fun.  Oh yeah...and food as well.  Honor your volunteers with a small gift and write them a handwritten note.  Thank them for their heart for the kids and families they minister to.  There are usually a lot of Christmas parties and activities going on, so make sure you have a time that works with people's schedules ( an example would be having it right after a service). Make it as easy as possible for them to attend.

So there you have it!  Do these 10 things and you can finish your ministry year strong!  I pray for God's best blessings will be yours.