Whenever we end the current year and begin a new one, the phrase “New year, new me” is pretty much everywhere. Normally when we hear this phrase, it’s referring to goals or things we would like to change about ourselves. And let’s be honest. The majority of the things we want to change are physical. We want to lose weight, get more toned, or eat better. And trust me—there’s nothing wrong with those things, but what if we took the “new year, new me” phrase to a whole different level?

You might be wondering what this whole different level is, so let me explain. In my time as a small group leader, I try my absolute best to be on top of my game. I read up on and really know what we will be discussing that week. I keep in touch with my students during the week. And I let them know they are safe and loved when they are with me. But sometimes, that just isn’t enough, and I have often felt very lost on what to do or wonder if it’s even worth it.

That is changing this year.

Here are some goals or resolutions that I am focusing on this year as a SGL.

1. Read one book a month that is ministry related.

I know reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes we think we are too busy to take a few minutes, sit down and read. I get that, but I can say in my short time of reading already this year, I have gained so much insight—ways to talk to students, how to discuss certain things with students. It just feels like the writers understands me and my thoughts. If one book a month seems like a lot, find a schedule that works for you—maybe one book every two months or every six weeks. If books aren’t really your thing, sitting down for a few minutes and reading a blog post is a fantastic way to grow in how we lead others.

2. Spend more time with Jesus.

I know, I know. This seems like a given with every Christian, every year. This year I am changing it up. I am not just trying to be in the Word every day. I also want to spend time in prayer and listening to worship music. The more we are in his presence and spending time in his word, the more we can be like him. And, in the end, that leads to us being better small group leaders. It becomes him leading through us, not us leading on our own accord.

3. Ask others for help

This one is huge for me, and it’s probably the one I will have the most trouble with. I am extremely type A which means I like to do things on my own. I like to be the leader. But I have realized that there are people who have been in ministry longer and who know more than I do. I also know that asking for help doesn’t make me any less of a leader. If you’re struggling and there is someone you admire and they seem to have it all together, message them, text them, email them, whatever you have to do. Chances are they have experienced something similar and if they haven’t, they could direct you to someone who has.

I hope that 2018 is a year of lots of firsts and growth for you and your few! Here is to the New Year!

Written by Stephanie Combs

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