Close

Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Past, Present, and Future pt. 2 – Back to the Future!

13 May Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Past, Present, and Future pt. 2 – Back to the Future!
Past, Present, and Future pt. 2 – Back to the Future!
 

Editor’s Note: Today is part two of a 3 part series by Ben Myers. To read the first part of this series, check out “Remembering the Past.”

Some Love for Mondays

I love Mondays! I cannot wait to get my week started, except during our winter retreat season. That’s the time of year when I take off on Mondays. During retreat season I work through the week with the anticipation of a hundred people coming over for the weekend. In those cases, I cannot wait for Friday evening!

Maybe more than Mondays, I love looking ahead to the next big thing. I am always chomping at the bit to start the next project, welcome the next guest group or cross the next thing off my to do list. If you are familiar with the Strengths Finder test you would not be surprised to find out that my top strength is Futuristic followed by Achiever. The future is my comfort zone.

ppf-future

Back to my Easter thoughts.

As I tabled the idea of examining the past decade of ministry, I was excited to think about the future. What am I going to do in the next three years or the next decade? What big things are just around the corner? In the same way I plan to draw away for the practice of the Examen, I also think its valuable plan to do some Reverse-Engineering. This is one of my favorite “life practices”.

Reverse Engineering 101

Reverse-Engineering is the process of taking something that is whole and taking it apart into its various component pieces in order to figure out how to build it from scratch. When it comes to strategic planning, reverse-engineering is the process of picking a point in the future, identifying who you want to be and what you want to accomplish, and then working backwards to determine what needs to happen in order to get there. It also includes identifying indicators and benchmarks along the way.

Check out this cool reverse engineering chart.

My plan is to pick a point about ten years out. Yikes! The year is 2024, and the reality is I will be 43 years old, having served at Arrowhead for 22 years. My wife and I will be married 22 years as well and my daughter will be 18. Wow, that last one seems incomprehensible. What is the goal or the win in 2024? What do I want to see happen? What kind of husband, father, and leader do I long to be at that point in my life? As I think through those questions the indicators and benchmarks I set up between now and then with revolve around camp, family and me.

Have you ever tried Reverse-Engineering? I encourage and challenge you to give it try. If it’s your first go around, invite someone to help you, perhaps your employer, a trusted friend or your spouse. I trust, like me you will find it to be an exciting practice that gives you zeal for the future and leads you to fervently pray to God for clarity, wisdom, energy, healthiness and His direction.

Thinking Strategically about the Future

Here are a few steps/keys to Ready Yourself for the Future.

Pick a time in the future: one, five or ten years.

  1. Think and pray through these questions:
    1. Who does God want me to be 10 years from now?
    2. What will my relationship with God, knowledge of His Word and affection for Jesus look like?
    3. Where will I be and what will I be doing in 10 years?
    4. What does God want me to have accomplished in 10 years?
  2. Begin working backwards. 5 years from now, 3 years from now, 1 year from now. What benchmarks will help you know you are headed in the right direction? What indicators will show you that you are moving forward with clarity and wisdom in a healthy way?
  3. Add some detail. Take your thoughts, ideas and notes from “1 year from now”. Write a list of specific benchmarks and indicators for this next week, the next month and the next season.
  4. Seek good counsel. Too often I skip this step, by keeping things to myself, putting the blinders, lowering my head and running off like a linebacker. Having a small group of trusted friends/mentors is a great way to pursue God and your future.

I can’t wait to see what 2024 brings. I think I’m more excited though, to focus on this week and hang out with my 8 year old daughter.

Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.