Post by Emma and Sarah Aungst
We are totally New Years people. New Years is the best. Let us clarify, we mean New Years and not New Years Eve. New Years Eve people are a different breed. Those people loving staying up till 12:00, banging pots, starting the year off sleep deprived. No, no, we, are New Years people. We love the newness that comes with January 1st. The feeling of waking up on January 1st to welcome the fresh start is magical. It reminds us that our God is the God of new beginnings and fresh starts. He does new things in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:19), He gives people new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26), and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). We are especially fond of New Years because it encourages the opportunity to seek the Lord. What new things does he have for us personally in this next season? What redemption does He have for our shortcomings and failures in the past year? And! What new things does he have for our ministries?
This type of thinking for some people may feel paralyzing, scary, or dangerous. We feel this fear sitting in the pit of our stomach as we open up our lives and ministries in conversation with the Lord. CAST ASIDE THAT FEAR, PEOPLE, AND DARE TO DREAM! Ask God to do new things in you! Maybe you are lacking confidence, direction, passion, drive. Talk to Him, open yourself to His transformation, and ask Him to work on these areas of unbiblical weakness in you. Not sure what to ask for? Pray the most open-ended, faith-building prayer of all time, “God do a new thing in me.” Then, you get the exciting journey of seeing what he does! It is amazing how God transforms you for the ministry or life season if you are in. Sometimes we keep personal transformation at arms length because we are so committed to our “wheelhouses.” But, some seasons require us to abandon those “wheelhouses” and pursue the new things God has for us.
Take the beginning of the year to feel like there is a fresh start in your ministry too. Take time to reflect on the big wins during the year before and thank God for them! Take time to thank your supportive team, parents, volunteers, and students for making 2017 what it was. Then reevaluate programs and systems to try to improve. For us, we first identify the pieces of our ministries that are legacy pieces. These are the events, traditions, series, or games that are good for your ministry and that people would literally revolt if you ever killed. No need to touch those, but then we get rid of the rest! Get. Rid. Off. The. Rest. What new (not slightly tweaked from the original) things do you want to do!? Create a new way to honor leaders, create new summer events, create new vision for services, etc. We are BIG fans of change. In our minds change = fresh. Without change, there is no growth (pruning = growth, its Biblical).
With all the new ideas and new goals that come with 2018 here is one question to anchor us, “What is the single thing you plan to do this year that will have an Eternal impact?” This is THE question of 2018 and ultimately of our lives. After all the brainstorming, new ministry desires, and personal resolutions cling hardest to the things that will impact His kingdom. Cheers to 2018!
Emma and Sarah Aungst are identical twins passionate about teenagers loving Jesus. God surprisingly/ironically/humorously called both of them into ministry their senior year of high school and they’ve never looked back. They work in full-time ministry for different churches in Orange County, Sarah is a Middle School Pastor and Emma is a High School Volunteer Director. Although they don’t work at the same church they still love to do ministry together as much as possible, they wittily call this “Twinistry.” They write blogs & curriculum, speak, and create few games you might see on here too! Follow along on Instagram to see their life/ministry, or really, their ministry that is their life.