A Look Ahead at 2024

soul impact Jan 01, 2024

When it comes to 2024, the year in front of us, all I can say in, "Wow, where to begin!"

When I was a financial planner, it was not unusual for my clients to sit in my office as we reviewed their portfolios, and for them to ask, "Phil, what's going to happen to our finances in the year to come?"

I always had a couple of answers ready. Number one: My crystal ball is broken. Number two: The only thing we know about the future is that it won't be what we expect.

I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet.

Except in the sense of what a prophet mainly did, and it wasn't predicting the future.

A prophet's main job was to speak to the people concerning what he was learning from God.

And that I will continue to do, in whatever ways I am able, however I can use what knowledge and wisdom I have, and whatever skills and experiences I can bring to the table. That's not about to stop.

But here are a few things I hope to accomplish during this coming year.

Personally for Elsie and me: Faith, Finances, Fitness, and Fun

We will continue to grow in our faith, through our church, Northview in Abbotsford, BC. We are blessed to be part of a church which believes in being deeply rooted in the Word of God. We experience it when we gather for worship, and when we get together with our local Bible study group. We are deeply blessed to be part of such an incredible church!

It is our hope that God will open the floodgates of financial blessing, so we have options when it comes to serving those around the world who are being touched by our Soul IMPACT coaching business and ministry. The Lord has made it possible for me to be trained and educated both formally and informally, and to have so many experiences I am able to share with Christ-followers around the world.

Ah, fitness and health. There are things we control, and things we do not. And with things we control, some are easy to control, and others tale a whole lot of effort. Some things we can affect by the choices and decisions we make, so we're responsible for those consequences. And there are aspects of our health where all we can do is pray and trust the Lord. My prayer and hope is that for those things we determine, we will make wise choices, knowing that the Lord has it all in His hands, and He doesn't make mistakes!

Finally, fun. We need to spend more time with family than we've been able to do in recent years, largely as a result of Covid. We're past that, hopefully, so it's time to make up for it. With family spread throughout Canada and the USA, it all takes planning, and time to pull it off. We're blessed to live in a beautiful part of Canada, surrounded by lakes and rivers, and towering mountains. We're 10 minutes from the beach at Cultus Lake where we love to sit, soak, and take in its beauty while reading, talking and praying. And we'd love to take in a few more concerts this year!

Soul Impact: Grow Influence throughout the world

Soul Impact began as a dream of being able to make a lasting impact on the souls - the eternal aspect - of Christ-followers. It is my plan to empower people around the world to hear the Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant," every day of their lives.

Today, there are several courses available on my website, www.soulimpact.ca, covering the three levels of my coaching material: Discipleship, Leadership, and Legacy.

Next Level Discipleship is a free course for anyone who takes their discipleship journey seriously. The first module is now available, "Everything we know for sure about Jesus is in the Bible." Next comes, "The Biblical mandate: Study to show yourself approved," followed by modules on Core Values, Purpose, Mission, and Vision. They're being released a couple at a time, and by the time they're done, you can expect to have about 65 lessons.

Next Level Leadership Master Class is for Christian leaders who long to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant" in their homes, churches, and businesses, so the Lord is being glorified wherever they go. Still in development, this course recognizes that everything rises and falls on leadership, and that leadership is influence: nothing more, nothing less. Watch for news on this one. You won't want to miss it!

Success to Significance in 90 Days is a course for those who have already achieved a level of success, however they define it, but who have reached half-time (somewhere in their 40's or 50's) and are ready to build a lasting, significant legacy. Just before Christmas, I published my first e-book on Kindle: "From Success to Significance: Building a Meaningful and Lasting Legacy as a Christian Entrepreneurial Leader," which reached No. 2 on the Spiritual Leadership best-selling list. The course includes both on-line material and live, one-on-one coaching with me. If you're serious about making a huge impact on your family, your organization, or your world, you need to check it out!

As I mentioned, I just published my first e-book, but there are others in the works that will be available throughout the coming year. Watch for the announcements!

Of course, at the core of Soul Impact is my coaching ministry, where I sit down with people (usually on Zoom), church boards and teams, to empower them to respond to the rapidly changing demands of life, ministry and business. Sometimes, this can be weekly for many, many months. For other clients, it could be weekly for three months, or monthly for a year. In other words, there's a lot of flexibility when it comes to schedule, and cost. I also offer a free introductory coaching session so we can meet, get to know one another a little, and determine if we would be a good fit. You can learn more about applying for coaching at www.soulimpact.ca/coaching-services.

Other ministry:

Northview Community Church in Abbotsford, BC continues to be our home church, and we continue to be in the inner-most leadership circles, which is a tremendous privilege. Northview's BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) is to see a gospel-centered, Biblically based church within driving distance of every Canadian. That's a goal that is clearly beyond our reach, but over the years, through intentional actions, leadership development, and strategic partnerships, it is our prayer to make disciples in every corner of Canada. We expect to break ground on a new 2000+ seat worship centre at our main campus, so the constraints of the current facilities don't get in the way of the Lord's vision for Northview. The plan is that it will open in about 3 years, debt-free. Elsie and I will continue to lead a community Bible study in Chilliwack, and look forward to the possibility of having a local Northview campus in our city one day soon.

I've had the privilege of serving as a member of the board of M2W2, a restorative justice ministry which serves inmates by building mentoring relationships with volunteers from local churches, and providing support upon release. The BHAG is to end imprisonment throughout Canada one person at a time. In June, my 6-year term will be complete. It's been great to work with such an incredible group of leaders, mentors, and mentees.

As I woke up this morning, as a New Year begins, I thought of the Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem," written by Phillips Brook in 1868, after a night-time visit, where he saw the town from the hills of Palestine. He wrote those unforgettable words:

O little town of Bethlehem

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting light

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

 I wonder what Brook would write these days, with Israel battling Hamas less than 100 km away, and Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem being cancelled.

 "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."

 In that little town, not far from Jerusalem which is the City of Peace (shalom), the infant Jesus arrived, bringing hopes and fears together. Where there is fear, there will also be hope in the presence of Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.

For this coming year, with all its unknown fears and dangers, go forward in the hope that can only come from Jesus Himself. Together, let's do our part in hearing the Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Elsie and I wish for you a fantastic New Year!

God bless you all.

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