Can you believe it’s 2024?

I’m not having my normal struggles with moving from one year to the next—misdating checks, documents, and files—but it feels like 2023 has just rushed past us. That feeling makes me wonder: How well did I use my time? Did I do all that God was calling me to do last year? Am I growing in my faith and as a person?

Reflecting on these questions brings me to this thought about growth: Sometimes, the growth we see in our lives and in our faith is exponential, but most often, our growth is incremental. When it comes to faith, we take small steps forward, with the occasional great stride mixed in.

Whether you are in a season of small steps or great strides, one key ingredient to growth is commitment. Without commitment, we wander aimlessly, drifting from one place to another as the tides and seasons of our lives move us. Commitment is required for us to grow in meaningful ways in any area of our lives. But, if you want to really grow, add accountability into the mix. Accountability holds us to the commitments we have made in our lives.

This year, I plan to run several half marathons as a part of becoming a healthier person. I am committed to my health, but when I run and exercise with my friends, their accountability reinforces my commitment and helps me move forward when I feel like I’m stuck. We need both commitment and accountability to make the most of 2024.

John Wesley realized the power of commitment and accountability and wove these two critical pieces throughout the early Methodist movement. Wesley knew that disciples of Jesus needed a firm commitment to their faith, as well as people around them, to help them grow in the ups and downs of life. That’s why each year Wesley held a Covenant Renewal Service. This was a time to commit to God and each other as we grow into the new year.

This Sunday, as we gather for our first worship services in 2024, we will celebrate the start of a new year with Holy Communion and our Wesley Covenant Renewal Service as we continue our Being Built sermon series. This week’s worship will allow us to consider our commitment to Christ and the church and take steps to make our commitment a reality in our lives.

Not only is this a chance for us to make a personal commitment, but it’s also a time for us to commit to becoming a church that is firmly planted in our work of Making Disciples and Transforming The World! I believe that our communal commitment and accountability matter because our faith is not practiced in isolation but together with other believers.

This new year is a chance to recommit, and I hope you’ll join us!

God bless,

For Jesus. For People. For Community.