Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Response to the 3 Year Plan

My last post was originally for a guest post at http://thoughtsofresurrection.wordpress.com/. A question was asked after the post went up:

"I really enjoyed your article on making a three year plan. Do you have a template or any type of tool to help with making a three year plan?"

What an excellent question! Ha! I guess I ought to come up with a solution, not just a suggestion!

As I think about how to best answer this, I would think of it more as a process and less as a template:

Maybe something like this:

  • Take the Spiritual Gifts self assessment (see http://thewell.cor.org/detail.aspx?ID=44)
  • Write down what you are doing today that you are good at
  • Write down what you are doing today that you enjoy (not always the same thing)
  • Write down your job
  • Write down your talents
  • Write down your interests
  • Write down any goals you have
  • Write down what you are NOT doing that you wish you were
  • Write down the answer to this question: "If Jesus showed up and had a special job just for you, what would it be?"
  • Write down anything you feel that God is calling you to (obviously this is extremely important, but also the most difficult)
It is very important to WRITE the answer to all of these things down. Don't just do it in your head. When things are visualized, they are also easier to accomplish.

Now start looking for overlaps. For some it may jump out at them right away. For others it may take several times through the process.

I haven't done a lot of studying on this. I just came up with this on the fly. Any suggestions or tweaks? What would you do if you had to put your 3 year plan together. By the way...now that I suggested the 3 year plan, I've got to go do mine!

A 3-Year Plan

I turned 30 years old in January, and it’s an age that should make any Christian pause and think. Jesus started his ministry when he was 30 and it ended 3 years later upon his death, but what he did during those three years has influenced billions of people over the last 2,000 years.

So what am I going to do in the next three years?

This is a question that we ought to be asking ourselves every day of our lives, but we get caught up in our own routines and forget this very important question.

I have a two-year old son, and I want to see him grow up. But if my death at thirty-three would bring billions (or even thousands) to God, wouldn’t it be worth it? It’s a scary thought, but Christ tells us that those who love their lives will lose them, and those who give up their lives for him will gain everlasting life. We’re not to martyr ourselves, but it is a call to be in the world, not of it.

Businesses and individuals often make 5 or 10-year plans. In the same vein, I would lobby that Christians should set forth a 3-year plan. The messiah completely redefined the world in three years. He was setting an example for us. As if to say, “I did it, and so can you.” Given, we are not the perfection that Jesus was, but if we strive to be, then we can reshape life as we know it.

If I live to be 75 years old, I have the opportunity to develop fifteen 3-year plans during the remainder of my life. What an opportunity! But in order to maximize that opportunity, I have to start now.

In 2006, I felt called to start working on my Bible in Rhyme project. It is my hope and prayer that God intends this to be a part of my 3-year plan. I pray that it is something that can work in the hearts, minds, and spirits of Christians and non-Christians alike. I don’t know what will happen, but I trust that God will guide me the way He wants me to go. And I know that it will require a lot of hard work on my part.

Besides, isn’t hard work what God asks from all of us? We are called to love and to believe, but that’s just the beginning. To really make something happen, we have to be ready to get our hands in the dirt and work for Him. To give up our worldly lives do His will here on earth.

So today, tomorrow, and definitely at each birthday, I recommend you ask yourself, “What is my 3-year plan?” Leave 5-year plans and 10-year plans to businesses. Make the 3-year plan God’s.