I am committed to continued development and personal growth, but, of course, the reality is that change is always hard. Most of the time if we aren’t also committed to personal accountability we won’t stick to any changes that we pursue. That’s why over the last several years I’ve posted my plans for personal growth here on the blog. So, here are my plans for 2017:
- People, Not Projects – This is our family slogan for the new year. 2016 was a year of accomplishing tasks. Both Krista and I had books we were working on, home improvement tasks we wanted to see completed, and a host of other smaller tasks that consumed our time. This was good but we recognized the shortcoming of not having more investment with people. So, we are seeking to shift our focus next year. We want to emphasize time with people, and routine and regular visits with friends.
- Counseling Certification – I have put off for years getting my official certification from one of the major certifying organizations. After getting my masters and having practiced counseling for several years it felt unimportant and frankly, unnecessary. Most of the people I serve don’t care if I am certified by ACBC or CCEF or anybody. They just want to know if there is hope and help. So, I have never bothered with jumping through association hoops. The time has come, however, to follow this course. Having that little piece of paper will help in expanding Cornerstone Counseling’s ministries. So, this year I will go through that process.
- To Expand Cornerstone Counseling – We had a big year in 2016, with lots of people going through training, a handful of new lay counselors, and new church partnerships. We are looking in 2017 to expand on this. We plan to continue our 3 annual workshops, and to develop a mobile training program that will go to churches and help equip their people for counseling. I have also been broadening my consulting and am thankful for the opportunity to serve and will seek new ways to develop that arm of Cornerstone Counseling as well. Finally, we are looking forward to our second DVD Curriculum. The first will be available for purchase in January and deals with anxiety, the second will be shot and produced this summer and will address pornography addiction. I am looking forward to making both of these resources available.
- To Increase My Personal Prayer Life – Dependence upon the Spirit of God is going to be a major spiritual goal for me in 2017. It’s always important but I have noticed a lack of attention in this area of my life and ministry. I rely far more on acumen and skill than I should. I want to be humble enough to realize my utter need of the Spirit, and that will require first and foremost an increased attention to personal prayer. So, I aim to focus part of my morning, every morning, on intensive prayer. I aim to pray Scripture, meditate on the Psalms, and cry out to God for myself and others.
These are my personal goals for next year and I invite you to ask me about them. Inquire, throughout the year, about how I am doing and whether I am on track. I am looking forward to 2017 and I hope you are too.