10 Discipleship Questions to Consider Now for 2017

For years, I have set goals for the new year during the first week of December. Tomorrow is the first day of December 2016. Setting goals this next week will give me a few weeks to pray about and prepare for meeting those goals. Maybe these questions will help you in setting goals for 2017:

  1. What will be my Bible reading plan for 2017?  I’m still trying to decide. What suggestions do you have? 
  2. What specific step will I take in the new year to love my family better?  If I don’t make intentional plans, I’ll let my relationships slide into mediocrity.
  3. On what non-believer(s) will I focus my prayers and evangelistic efforts in 2017? For years, my first focus has been my mother and sister. They will remain at the top of my list this next year unless God saves them in the next few weeks. I’m not giving up hope.
  4. In whom will I invest my life as a disciplemaker this next year? I always want to have at least 2-3 particular mentee possibilities in mind as I start a new year.
  5. What sin will I fight the hardest to overcome in the new year? I’m hardly perfect, but I can’t allow that admission to lessen my commitment to live in obedience. Every year should begin with repentance and end with my being more like Christ.
  6. What will be my giving and saving goals for 2017? I tend to spend spontaneously, so I need clear commitments for the next year. Establishing both giving and saving goals forces me to consider how selfish I can be.
  7. When will I fast regularly next year? Obviously, I believe Christ expects His followers to fast. For that reason, I want to start the year with a plan for obedience.
  8. What mission trip(s) will I take in 2017? I don’t always know exact opportunities and locations at this point, but I can still commit to taking a certain number of trips. My goal is to be on the field at least twice each year. 
  9. What books will I finally read next year? They’ve been on the stack for too long. Now’s the time to get them on the schedule.
  10. Am I committed to follow God in 2017 – regardless of the sacrifice or cost? It’s easy to answer this question as long as the price I pay is minimal. I reconsider the question each year, though, because only God knows what the next year will bring.  

What questions would you add to this list?


  • Jim Watson says:

    11. What can I give up that would help me fulfill these goals?

    I am sure that there are things in every church that are still being done even though they have become an unnecessary drain. And, usually, there are things that could be delegated to others.

  • Dean Pearce says:

    EXCELLENT questions! Stopped me in my tracks this morning. Thank you for your insight. Bless you Brother.

  • Kyle Shearin says:

    We plan on using this in our church. Thanks for the resource!

  • hdnesbit says:

    Have you decided on a reading plan for 2017? Which plans have you used in the past, and which were of most benefit to you, personally? I will be finishing out 2016 using M’Cheyne’s, but have considered one that allows some flexibility/catch up days.

    Thanks for your blog!

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      I haven’t decided yet on my plan, but I’m looking for one that gets me into the NT earlier in the year.  

  • Eric Samuelson says:

    Chuck, I have no doubt about your deep spiritual sincerity, but most of these questions break my heart. They promote men to willfulness instead of teaching them to lean on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 1) e.g.- Mentors don’t choose protégées, just as Elijah didn’t choose Elisha. Instead, the younger prophet insisted on staying by his spiritual father’s side. All authentic submission is voluntary, not mandated. Sons need to pursue fathers in order to avoid top-down, authoritarian leadership. 2) e.g. – Asking “what sin will I fight the hardest?” also encourages men to use their personal, soulish, strength to effect change rather than leaning on the infinite strength of the Lord to develop consecrated lives. Asking: “What character trait of the Lord Jesus am I being persuaded to model?” nudges us TOWARD Christ, not away from sin.

    Sir, I mean no harm in leaving this comment, and I certainly don’t advocate passivity, but I am saddened by the Church in America inadvertently encouraging men to lead self-willed lives.

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Eric. I doubt we differ here, especially if you read my other daily posts. We might differ some with the protege issue. Jesus and Paul both chose disciples; thus, I think we must also always be on the lookout for men in whom we might invest while also being attentive to those around us who are looking for mentors. Again, I thank you for your thoughts, and I take no offense at them.  

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