The concept of “beginning with the end in mind” is not something I came up with. Many a management guru uses that statement to manage one’s life. It is a great concept and fits excellent with starting a New Year.
Beginning with the end in mind means identifying what you want to be true of you or what you want to accomplish at the end of the year ahead of you. Since this is January, you will be asking yourself what you want to be true of you on the very last day of December this same year.
In my case, I ask myself what I want to be accurate of myself. What do I want to be true of me professionally as a church pastor? What do I want to be true of me as the leader of a disciple-making ministry? I am off to a great start if I can identify what I want to be true of my life in these three areas in the next twelve months.
As a disciple, I want to know at the end of the next twelve months that I have grown in Christ, such as in character and conduct. I want to know that I am demonstrating more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. I want to know that I have belonged, magnified, served, grew, managed, shared, and multiplied.
To see that these marks of character and conduct are true of my life twelve months from now, I must have a plan each month to build them into my life. If I don’t have a plan to build them into my life, there is a good chance they won’t be true of me.
Let me give you an example. If I want to be true that I made disciples, I will want to start a small discipleship group and maintain it weekly for the next twelve months. At the end of the year, I can look back and know that I have made some disciples. If they, in turn, make more disciples, then I can know I have multiplied disciples. That would be a good use of the following year of my life.
If I want to know that I am more loving in the next year, I can take time each week to evaluate my progress. I can grab a journal and write it out whenever I feel I am loving. That accountability will help me be honest about my well-being, allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way with me. I also want to have someone hold me accountable for being more loving. The self-evaluation and accountability from others will help you become the person god wants you to be.
When you “begin with the end in mind,” the bottom line is to develop a plan to help you become the person God wants you to be. It helps you identify what you want to be true of your life and then work a plan to ensure you develop in each area.
Very few people take the time to lead themselves in this way. Instead of having a plan to hit a target, most people just get tossed to and fro by the circumstances and situations that come their way. I suggest you plan your life and then live your plan. After all, if you are a Christian, your life belongs to Christ, and he should be the one you live for.
Impact Discipleship Ministries can help you learn more about how to live as a fully trained disciple. Please get in touch with us at impactdisciples.com for more information and resources.