Don’t Put Jesus First This Year

I have one piece of advice for you as we start out this New Year:
Don’t put Jesus first this year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Before you label me a heretic, let me explain.

I imagine that many of you are going through a similar process as me right now of setting and resetting your priorities. Personally, I love this time of year. I’m a very goal-oriented individual and I’ve found that reprioritizing and recalibrating your life is an indispensable activity if you really want to actualize your potential.

And here’s what it usually looks like. We start by putting Jesus at the top. Then family. Then maybe career. And so on. So our priorities look something like this:

1. Jesus/God
2. Family
3. Career

Looks good. However I’ve found that this isn’t very effective when you get down to the grind of everyday life. For example, what does it even mean to put Jesus before my family? Do I ignore my family to spend more time with Jesus? Or with your career, do you stop working to put Jesus first?

The essential problem with this approach is that it segregates the different priorities of life. You end up removing Jesus from where you spend the majority of your time and putting Him on an island by Himself. The biggest island maybe, but an island nonetheless.

I don’t think this is the way it was ever supposed to work. Colossians 1:15-20 repeatedly tells us that Jesus is first before and over everything. But it also says that all things were created through and for Him. That in Him all things hold together. That the goal of the cross was to reconcile all things to Himself.

So Jesus is first. He is first in order. He is first in importance. But He is so because He is the center of everything.

That’s what He should be in your life. And consequently, the thing that is at the center of your life is the thing that is ultimately first in your life.

This year, instead of worrying about putting Jesus first in your life, what if you concentrated on making Him the center of every area of your life? Not just the top priority in front of every other priority, but the top priority in every priority?

Not Jesus, then my family. But Jesus in my family.
Not Jesus, then my career. But Jesus in my career.

We’d probably be a lot more successful in actually keeping Jesus at the top spot on our list. And we’d be much more likely to do an exponentially greater job at accomplishing our other goals and maintaining our priorities.

Read more from Steven here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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Recent Comments
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

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