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| Mike Reed | ,

One Word: Gaining Clarity and Passion for 2022

The Concept of One Word

I was having a casual conversation with a twentysomething young man a couple of years ago when he remarked that he had chosen one word for the year to help him focus his life and ministry. His mentioning this concept immediately piqued my interest in practicing this discipline in my life.

Since that initial introduction, I have found this exercise to be a valued method for focusing my mind and energies in pursuit of my goal of living focused upon the Master and kingdom work. As a result, I find it beneficial for my life to be guided through concentration rather than resolutions.

Just so you know, I am not suggesting we take our eyes off Jesus. He should always be at the center and our eyes should be on Him (Hebrews 12:2). I am suggesting that we submit to the Holy Spirit to impress upon us a word He has chosen in light of our present context.

What is Produced in Focusing on One Word?

  • Intentionality – One word is a simple and powerful way to build intentionality into our lives.
  • Focus Resulting in Clarity – The word we choose provides the “bullseye” for aiming our life at one simple action that will impact all that we do.
  • Concentration – It is easy to be like the cowboy that jumped on his horse and rode of in four different directions. Concentration helps reduce or eliminate mission drift.
  • Passion – The three previous bullet points produce passion. It is difficult to not be passionate if these are in place.

Choosing Your One Word

  • Pray – The Spirit will reveal a word to us if we ask, seek, and knock (Matt. 7:7-9)
  • Orient – Consider where you are in your journey. Every path toward the future is impacted by where we are in the present.
  • Question – As Henry Blackaby stated in his classic work Experiencing God, find out where God is at work and join Him. There is a good chance that your life focus (and your one word) will be related to that mission.
  • Decide – Make a decision to allow God to use your word to assist you in your pursuit of Him.

An Example: My Personal Journey

I am not an expert on the subject of the “one word” concept. I can only attest to the fact that I always look forward to the annual journey.  In 2021, my word was “gardening.” That may sound strange, but it helped me see my life as an investment in God’s “garden” through the process of preparing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting. It helped me see that my calling was to be in the field daily doing what gardeners (farmers) do (Mark 4:1-9; 13-25). In 2022, my word is “page.” It is my desire to view each day of my life as a fresh page to be yielded to the Master so He can write His story in my life.  My 2022 story book will be comprised of 365 pages and 12 chapters (months). I can’t wait to see what He writes!

A Valuable Tool

I have found a very valuable tool to assist us in the one word journey. The book One Word that Will Change Your Life, by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, is a short and concise treatment of the subject. This book has been a major resource in helping me in my personal journey (and in the writing of this blog).

Invite Others Along for the Journey

A good way to spread the word on “one word” is to invite others to join you in this journey. The connections through these communities offer expanded insights and can be a source of constant encouragement. Inviting people far from God to join you in a learning community will open doors for evangelism and discipleship. These relationships give believers an opportunity to speak about the source of the hope that they possess in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15).

Missional Strategist

Mike Reed