New Year, New Ministry

The start of a new year brings an interesting energy that usually only comes around in January: energy, motivation, and enthusiasm. There’s something about a new year that gives us permission to look at the future of our ministry differently. We start the new year excited and ready to kick-butt. Hence the emphasis on New Year’s resolutions.

This is a good time and a bad time for those of us in ministry. Good time in the sense that we get disciplined and start thinking and doing things differently. Bad in that often that energy and motivation is not sustainable much past January. We must find the balance.

As a leader, let’s take advantage of the new year while being realistic of our time and energy:

  1. Re-examine your ministry goals. For many of us, we run on an academic calendar. That means we create our goals in April or May for the “new year” that begins in July. We’re half way through that year. Look your ministry goals. Are you where you want to be? Have you spent energy where it needs to be spent? This is essential to continued success in ministry. For a sense of what to do during this time, read my blog entry on Priorities.
  2. Begin anew by working on your daily, weekly, and monthly disciplines. In January, our discipline for our work is high. Take advantage of January to turn that discipline into a habit. 21 days to make something a habit, right? Well, good news: January has 31 day!
  3. Focus on the top 20%. I often stray away from the important for the urgent. What are the items that bring the greatest return? Focus on those priorities, the top 20% that bring 80% of the results in your ministry. That’s where we build energy and momentum.
  4. Create momentum. January allows us to take advantage of the “big mo”: momentum! Starting things off right allows us to create momentum by doing the other things on this list. Once you create momentum, you keep working that momentum into February, March, April…

Time to start the new year off right! How do you do that? Share with all of us in the comments section.

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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