Before Thanksgiving I read the final assignment from my spiritual formation students. They wrote six month strategic plans for their own spiritual growth and development. 

Each one was unique. That’s why I don’t offer a set model for them to follow. I gave general guidelines and specific requirements, but style and format needed to be a match for what works best for them. 

The diversity made me smile. As I read their documents I could see their faces and hear their voices. I thought how much better their lives could be—would be—if they follow through on the goals they structured. 

Today I think about us. What are our goals, plans, hopes, prayers for 2020? What practices can and should we apply to be proactive on our spiritual development? What days, weeks, months will we prioritize worship, study, silence, fasting, biblical meditation, listening prayer, petition, intercession, and celebration? Who will we ask to mentor us, to ask us difficult questions, to kindly hold us accountable? Where will we intentionally invest our time? When will we rest? When will we stare at God’s creation and rewire our unnecessary obsessions? Instead of waiting to see what we might do, can’t we plan what we should do? Wouldn’t it help us to schedule various forms of communicating with God rather than scheduling and planning everything in our lives but that? 

I suggest we write a plan. Select times and places and methods of spiritual exercises. Many people will plan resolutions about physical exercise and dietary changes. That’s great—if followed. But let’s also establish a plan to read and pray and forgive—not waiting until we feel like it. 

Start 2020 by writing your six month strategic plan for spiritual growth and development. Begin today. 

*Chris Maxwell’s books “Pause” and “Pause with Jesus” would be good to read during your 2020 spiritual adventure.