Whether beginning a new calendar year, a new year after a birthday or starting fresh after a challenging season, setting a goal can be a helpful tool for self-accountability as you move forward. Many of us resolve to find a stronger connection with God in these moments.
Here are ten resolutions that will help you grow your faith:
- Commit to reading your Bible. The reassurance found in Scripture can only be discovered by setting aside time to study and better understand God’s word. As you read, pay close attention to what God is teaching you, and consider what calling God has for your life.
- Pray more often. If you pray rarely, start by praying at least once each day. If your prayer life needs enlivened, explore new prayer practices, such as breath prayers. Finding ways to incorporate prayer into your daily routines will help it become a central point of your faith.
- Attend church services regularly. If you need a church home, search for nearby United Methodist congregations on Find-A-Church. If you are a member at a church but haven’t been attending consistently, go! Connecting with others and participating in worship are vital parts of a growing faith, whether in-person or online.
- Join a small group. This might be a Sunday School class, a community group organized by your church or a Bible study fellowship. Investing in others and building friendships can strengthen your mental and spiritual health. Additionally, you’ll be able to share thoughts, beliefs and questions with other Christians who are also on a journey of faith.
- Write in a journal. Capture thoughts about life and God. Putting pen to paper helps us unload whatever mental weight we are carrying and often brings a new perspective. This can be diary-style writing, but you can also write down prayers, poems or a fictional short story that helps you express your emotions and spiritual outlook.
- Create something beautiful. This could be anything from a pencil sketch in the margin of a piece of paper, to a scrapbook page, to a knitted scarf. Using your creativity unlocks your right-brain thinking and helps us tap into new ideas, find calm and let go of anxiety.
- Make a joyful noise. Listen to uplifting, worshipful music that stirs your soul and sing along. It doesn’t matter if you are the best or the worst singer – lifting your voice in praise to God is an important part of soul-care. Join in congregational singing with a bit more gusto, or simply sing to the heavens while you are stuck in traffic.
- Volunteer in the community. No matter where you live, churches and nonprofit organizations are always in need of helping hands. Find a cause that excites you and consider how you can get involved. This could be a food bank, an animal shelter or an afterschool program, or you can simply ask a neighbor in need how you can help them.
- Reach out to those you love. Life can be short and is full of the unexpected. Make a promise to yourself and those you hold dear that you will be present, engaged and devoted to your relationships. Attend activities that are meaningful to your friends and family members. Mend past brokenness. Make an effort to call, text and email people you haven’t heard from in a while.
- Invite someone to church. There are many people who are seeking deeper meaning in life but are unsure about visiting a church. Think of coworkers, neighbors, friends and family members that are yearning for a loving community in which to grow and find support. Invite them to join you for a worship service or a church event where they can meet members of the congregation.
Laura Buchanan works for UMC.org at United Methodist Communications. Contact her by email.
This story was published on December 14, 2023.