The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned. . . .
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:2, 6, NIV)
Although the end of one year and the beginning of another may be as simple as turning a calendar page, the symbolic move from one calendar year to another has significant impact on all of us. At this time of the year, we look back to evaluate where we have been, but we also look forward to where we are going.
As we look back, we celebrate victories, give thanks for our blessings, and learn from our failures. I am thankful for the wonderful times with family this year–shared experiences, vacations, and just doing life together. I am grateful for my faith community that provides times of fellowship, worship, and service. I celebrate my work as a coach. My number of coaching clients has increased, and I have had some of my most rewarding coaching conversations.
The year has provided good times of fellowship with coaching colleagues, especially those in Christian Coaches Network International, as we have learned together and shared with each other.
I tried some new things this year. Not all worked, but I have learned from the stumbles, will tweak the models, and try again next year. This is a good time to evaluate where I have been before I think about where I want to go in my coaching practice. I reflect on the past year but prepare for something new.
In recent years, my church has become more immersed in observing Advent. We reflect on the anticipation of the Hebrew people for the coming of the Messiah. We realize that in the birth of Christ, prophecy is being fulfilled and the long-awaited light is coming into the world. As we practice Advent, we are challenged to see that something new is happening. Many Israelites interpreted the coming of Messiah as an end, but the coming of Jesus was the beginning of something new. Messiah has come. The world will never be the same again.
Although December may be the time of ending for many, it is a time of beginning for me. The coming of Messiah encourages me to consider my role in His Kingdom. How can I celebrate my relationship with Christ in a more meaningful way in the new year? How can I point to where His Kingdom is breaking through? How can I share His love with others?
One way I will do this is through my ministry as a coach. As I encourage clients to identify a growing edge and to pursue it, I will attempt to communicate the love of a God who is “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Since I serve a God who sees the potential in everyone, I will value, encourage, and support my clients to become more than they are. Whether the person is a believer or not, I will seek to show the love of God to that person and leave the rest to the Spirit of God.
Thanks be to God for the opportunities of a new year!
Ircel Harrison, Coaching Coordinator, Pinnacle Leadership Associates, Supplemental Associate Professor of Missional Theology, Central Baptist Theological Seminar
Ircel Harrison, is an itinerant educator. He spends his time encouraging and equipping leaders through his work with the Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Pinnacle Leadership Associates. He is an ACC certified coach with the International Coach Federation and co-author of DISCIPLE DEVELOPMENT COACHING.