12 Things I've Learned in 2012

This year has been a fun ride. I’m thankful for the blessings and the struggles of this year. I love Christmas and New Year’s because it’s so reflective. We become enamored with and overwhelmed by our life. It’s a fun place if we can learn to celebrate and make changes small and attainable.

So here is a list of 12 things that I’ve learned in 2012. I hope that you will share some of the things that you’ve learned as well.

1. My life is a lot more limited than I used to think that it was. I thought that I would be here in what seems like forever, but this life, on this planet, is not forever.

2. I used to want to be a great young leader. But I’ve realized that the young has become a barrier for me that I place on myself. Others don’t necessarily see me that way. Now, I’ve shifted my focus to be a great leader. First and foremost to my family.

3. Patience. Great things take great time to build. Unless you’re Nehemiah. The things that I desire most in my life take a long time to build, I’m learning to be ok with that. Celebrate the steps and evaluate the trajectory of those steps.

4. My wife sees more potential in me than I do. I’ve been especially reminded of this in the last few months. She not only cares about me but she is proud of me. This is a huge thing for me. Not to mention the sacrifice she’s made to be at home. Financial, professional, and sometimes personal sacrifices are involved for stay at home moms. I treasure my wife making this decision.

5. Being a dad is awesome. I don’t know how baby daddies can experience a smile directed at them or the heartbeat of their own child and not be in it for the long haul to become fathers. It’s making me understand how important it is to have a dad. It’s making me understand how almost half of our church kids don’t have one investing in them. #fatherinspiredgoalfornextyearcomingsoon #:)

6. Delegation is not, I’m busy and more important than you, so you do this. For a long time, that’s what I thought delegation was. I hated to hand off tasks that I don’t enjoy or I don’t see as important. It makes me cringe. However, I’m learning that all tasks that lead to goals are important and that I don’t see myself as enough of a leader that my leaders want to help me. Both of these are my issue and the issue of the leader. We must figure these out because delegation is a key to longevity and equipping others to do ministry.

7. My kid is beautiful.

8. Structures and systems make ministry easier. I know that some people will not like me talking about ministry becoming easier. Some think that means doing it wrong. I’m also not talking to the set it and forget it crowd. If you want to maintain what you are doing then I’m not talking to you either. But things like Check-in, visitor policies, assimilation, Small Group sign up and placement, event templates, volunteer processes, and more are necessary to accomplish important things time after time. You must create systems and structures in order to make the most of your time.

9. Time Management. You must get better at it. You must accomplish the right task in the most efficient manner possible. You must get to the most important tasks. Managing your time well is how you get there.

10. I’m learning to enjoy things again. For some of you this comes easy. But during college my schedule was wake up, drive an hour, school, lunch, school, drive 30 minutes, work, drive an hour, eat dinner, sleep. Nothing else. Things like movies, tv, sports, food, etc. were all cogs in the grind. I’m learning to be appreciative of those things. I shot a gun yesterday for a new series we are doing in January and I haven’t done that in a long time. It was a blast. I’m learning to find hobbies and spend some time there. It’s fun.

11. Learning to lead people well. I’ve led people in the incorrect direction, I’ve failed to lead and I’ve absolutely had no clue before. But thanks to some great people’s blogs, good books and mentors. I’m learning to lead well. I can see results and can’t wait for the next step.

12. My son will have to deal with “suffering” in a much more difficult way than I’ve had to deal with it. Following Christ in this country is no longer popular. It’s not demonized or even seen as crazy. But it’s slowly becoming less and less popular. This means I have to learn how to model suffering in a place where suffering isn’t readily apparent. I don’t know how in the world I’m going to do this. Praying for guidance.

What did you learn this year? Greatest accomplishment? What was the most fun?

Previous article"Dramatic Increase" in Bible Translations Worldwide, Reports Wycliffe
Next articleSomething to Believe In
J.C. Thompson
J.C. Thompson is the 5th & 6th Grade Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America.

Get the ChurchLeaders Daily Sent to Your Inbox