A note from Kelly King: Leaders often focus on planning and executing, but how many times do you celebrate and remember the great things God has done in your ministry? December is a great time to reflect on the past year and remind women in your sphere of influence all of the things accomplished and to give credit to the Lord. Cynthia Hopkins gives us 10 practical ways to celebrate your year of leadership.
The end of a year and beginning of a new one is a time when many people look ahead. They determine areas where improvement is needed, set new goals, and make plans to accomplish them. And those are good things! For people in positions of leadership, though, that process doesn’t just take place in December or January; it happens year round. If you’re involved in leadership for a women’s event at church, you’re likely already compiling a mental list of what works and what doesn’t—even when you’re still in the planning process! For instance, maybe your deadline for sign ups is fast approaching and you’ve thought of ways you could have promoted more effectively.
As a leader, you will face a very real temptation to always be looking ahead, even before an event or experience is over. You may already be thinking and talking about how it should be done differently next year. That kind of forward thinking and ongoing evaluation is a mark of good leadership, but if you’re not careful, it can also rob you and your group of an important part of what God intends to accomplish.
As leaders, it’s important to look backward, too. You will help women look forward with greater anticipation in the future if you also allow them meaningful opportunities to reflect on what God has done in the past. Making plans for the future is a good thing, but remembering and celebrating what God has done and is doing now in your group is a special and often overlooked gift.
Consider these practical ways you can give yourself, your leadership team, and the women you lead the gift of remembering this year:
- Create a slideshow of highlights from the year and post it on your group’s Facebook page.
- If you have a dedicated space, make a graffiti wall for women to write a way they were impacted by their involvement in the group this year.
- If your group has a historian or someone who keeps track of photos, invite her to create a display.
- If you have a Christmas or New Year’s event, take some time to recall special moments.
- Consider giving the year a name by choosing a word that fits: “The year of ____________.”
- On your group’s preferred social media platform ask, “What is your favorite memory from our group in 2018?” and invite members to comment.
- Create an end-of-year newsletter to highlight what God did among your group. Include short testimonies.
- As you reflect, don’t focus on numbers. Rather, focus on people and experiences.
- Invite someone new to your group to share what ministry to women meant to her in getting connected within the church.
- If it was a difficult year, don’t brush past it. Be honest about it, and invite God to teach your group through it.
Cynthia Hopkins is a writer, speaker, and the founder of Platform 320, a nonprofit ministry for women. Cynthia has been writing articles, Bible studies, and devotions for LifeWay for almost 20 years. She is the author of “What Now?” a 30-day book of devotions to help teenagers own their faith after the spiritual high of a camp or retreat experience. Through Platform 320, she leads multi-church women’s retreats, ministry wives retreats, and women’s mission endeavors. Her husband Clay is the associate pastor at their church, FBC College Station, TX. They have two young adult children, Brandon and Abby.