7 New Year’s Resolutions for Developing Christian Habits
Eat healthier, get better sleep, exercise more—these are common New Year’s resolutions, and worthwhile pursuits. But what if you’re looking for small tangible steps that can help you engage with your faith, or deepen your existing Christian practice? Here are seven suggestions for 2019.
Attend church every week
Attending church regularly is a resolution that many people make, and with good reason. No matter your church-going background, it’s a worthy goal. Worship services are opportunities for learning and reflection. They can provide periods of stability and rejuvenation in a hectic world—and provide a powerful community network. Building community, celebrating, praying, and worshiping together—not just alone—are important parts of Christian life.
Commit to reading the Bible …. all of it
It’s always worthwhile to engage with scripture; this year, make it a priority to engage with the entire Bible. Some of the Bible is difficult to grapple with, and some can seem strange in a modern context. But the most difficult passages are often the most rewarding. How well do you know Job? Or Lamentations? There is tremendous value in digging into all the dense difficulty and splendor that the Bible has to offer. Not only will this help you ability to understand scripture, it will give you a greater appreciate for the overarching scope and story of God’s people. Regular reading of the Bible helps us better understand ourselves, our world, and our relationship to God and others.
While the concept of reading the entire Bible might seem daunting, it can be done. There are many resources to help you develop a daily habit of Bible reading so the task doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. You may even encourage a group of friends to read the Bible together which can help everyone stay motivated. Also, don’t feel like you need to start at the beginning; pick a book and get started!
It can be frustrating to memorize something—carving out the time, struggling with the can’t-quite-remember-the-word hesitation, practicing with over-and-over repetition—but it’s worth it. Memorization is a way to engage with scripture on a deep level. Even in a world where you can pull up the entire Bible on a smartphone with a few finger taps, it’s extremely powerful to (quite literally) make a verse or passage part of you, and take it with you everywhere you go. Choose verses that have special meaning to you, or relate to areas where you are striving for self-improvement.
Join a Bible study
Another way to experience the Bible on a deeper level is to join a Bible study. This practice can further your own contemplation and personal reflection with a group of other engaged readers. Encountering scripture with others in a mutual quest for meaning can expand your understanding with new viewpoints and illuminating discussion. Quite often a Bible study turns into deeper relationships with one another which is helpful when life happens.
Keep a prayer journal
Prayer is the most intimate, personal way to engage with God. A prayer journal isn’t just a place to record prayers (thought it is that), it’s also a space for reflection, creativity, and understanding. A prayer journal requires you to sharpen your thoughts, desires, and feelings, to look for God’s actions in the world around you, and to honestly evaluate your own actions—as you do, you’ll be able to see your faith developing and deepening over time.
Christians are called to work toward building a better world in the here and now. Choose a local cause that’s important to you and get involved! To start, don’t worry about whether your task is large or small—almost anything can have a positive impact. We have many areas in and around Palatine where you can join other All Saints members and make a difference right here in the community.
Go on a mission trip
Mission trips, be they far or near, are powerful ways to see the world with new eyes, and to see God in action. To many, mission trips seem daunting, but they don’t have to be! Mission trips place us squarely following the teachings and actions of important biblical leaders, provide opportunities to better the lives of others, practice personal growth— and did we mention they can be incredibly fun?
Is Attending Church More Regularly One Of Your Resolutions This Year?
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to attend church more regularly, we’d love to help you achieve that goal. We have two services each Sunday – 8:30am and 11:00am. If you’d like to meet our pastors or learn more about All Saints during your visit, please send us an email by clicking the link below or say hello personally after service.
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