Each year when I celebrate my birthday, I find it odd when people ask, “Wow, don’t you feel older?” I always respond the same way, “Yes, I feel one day older than yesterday.” In truth the passing of time is constant, we celebrate days like birthdays and anniversaries, we have annual celebrations for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. These celebrations are a great time to think about the passing of time and the events that brought you to where you are today. When we think about celebrating the New Year, many people make resolutions, signifying a fresh start, a new beginning. Is there anything special about the calendar turning from December 31 to January 1? Not really … but, maybe there is!
Did you know that annual celebrations like this are not new to us? It’s true! The Old Testament tells of many celebrations that the Israelites convened in order to worship God. One of those celebrations was the New Moon Festival. The first day of every month was set aside as a day to focus on and worship God. The festival required no work to be done, musical offerings to God, other special offerings, and of course food. The celebration gave the Israelites a time to step back and look at what God had provided for them in the previous month and look forward to His provision for next month.
When we look at the New Moon Festival it gives us a hint on ways we can make sure our New Year starts off well and shines. Here are four ways to make sure your New Year shines.
- Remember the blessing. As you get ready to launch into a new calendar year of teaching, remember what God has done for you the last year. Has He provided for your needs in teaching? Has He given you the ability to lead? Has He blessed you with boys and girls to tell the wonderful news of redemption? Remember the blessing.
- Anticipate the blessing. If God has provided for you in the past, and He has, He will continue to bless you! Anticipate the blessing to come and thank God in advance for what He will do.
- Plan to plan. In preparation for these monthly celebrations the Israelites had a plan for what would happen. If we want to be successful we need to plan for the time we get to minister to boys and girls. Good healthy planning makes a more successful experience when you teach.
- Eat. You might be laughing right now, but fellowship is a great tool to get to know the people you teach with. If you are like me, new in a teaching environment, getting to know each other in a few minutes before teaching starts is difficult. Carve out some time to fellowship with your fellow teachers and their spouses if they have them and get to know who you are teaching with.
Four tips that might go a long way in helping you connect with the leaders you are teaching with as well as have a shiny new … and full year.
Tim Pollard teaches 3rd-6th graders Explore the Bible: Kids Worship on Sunday nights at Tulip Grove Baptist Church. He’s passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.