For those of us who are in spiritual leadership a theme scripture can be helpful when starting a new year. A theme scripture for the year can focus a team. It can paint a vision for what could be. A theme scripture can also be a reminder of team values.
I wish I had seen theme scriptures used well more often than I have seen them used poorly. Good intentions are present but the follow through is often lacking. For a theme scripture to have a bite it requires more than a written letter in beginning of the year explaining the verse and why it's the chosen theme for the year. Nor is it effective when there is a single presentation of the theme at the opening of the year and not another discussion about it again.
Here are some thoughts around embracing a theme scripture for your team in the next year:
1. It better challenge you - You are not Zeus raining down on the common folk what you think they need. Choose a theme that you find challenging or stretching enough that you can't rely on yourself. If a scripture doesn't challenge you than don't challenge other people with it. One of the best things your team can see is you yourself being challenged in your own dependence of God.
2. Does it have alignment - If the scripture doesn't fit the "why" your team or organization exists than don't use it. It's a slippery slope when we manipulate scripture into a message we want others to "get". Hopefully, your mission is an expression of scripture. Find a theme scripture that re-expresses the "why" we do this.
3. Don't stop talking about it - If you lead a team or multiple teams, every meeting should start with a review of the theme scripture unless you meet daily. Most teams I lead meet bi-weekly at best but every meeting starts the same: First, we review the theme scripture. Second, I ask how is this living out in your personal life and how is it living itself out in what you do here? You will discover that the conversations will get richer and richer.
4. Stay the course - I have to be honest. There are many times that I want to get down to business when it comes to meetings. Action is required and it's killing me the problem isn't solved or the next idea hasn't been discovered. This is where having a template for my meetings is a life saver. The theme scripture and questions are there every time. My template doesn't change and therefore it keeps me staying the course when using a theme scripture.
We know that God's word is living and active. We want activity on our team. We want people to experience life on our team. As a spiritual leader use a theme scripture properly and it's so much fun getting to the end of the year and seeing how living and active God's words are! What a fun thing to celebrate with your team.