Creating a faith bucket list
Most of us have some form of a bucket list consisting of exciting or meaningful goals that we would like to achieve before we die. Common bucket list items are: visiting remote countries, partaking in extreme adventures or trying exotic foods. Personally, I would love to watch Liverpool Football Club win a cup final live, go skydiving, visit all the continents at least once and publish a book.
But what would a faith bucket list look like?
By using the term faith bucket list, I am not referring to goals such as: ‘going to visit Israel and walk where Jesus walked.’ While I’m sure that would be awesome, it perhaps deserves its own place on our regular bucket list. Our faith bucket list on the other hand, is more concerned with God’s plan for us and the Earth.
Different from a regular bucket list?
One of the negative aspects of a bucket list is that they are often selfish. They are usually concerned with what I can achieve before I die. A Christian understands that this life is not our own, but God’s. Therefore, a faith bucket list should bear this in mind. It is not about what I can achieve, but what God can achieve through me for the expansion of God’s Kingdom on this Earth.
Bucket Lists also seem to imply that our short life on this Earth is all that matters. While I agree that we should try to do as much as we can with our lives, as Christ-followers we believe in life after death and therefore our faith bucket list should be made with this understanding in mind.
So what exactly goes into creating goals for a faith bucket list?
Perhaps some valuable questions to ask when compiling a faith bucket list are:
Does this goal glorify God?
Is this goal supported by Scripture?
Does this goal help others?
Is this goal beneficial to my personal spiritual walk?
Having acknowledged these, here are some practical examples that we could possibly include in our faith bucket lists:
Use our gifts to faithfully serve others and glorify God (1 Peter 4:10)
God has blessed us with many personal gifts that we often neglect. Rather than letting them lie stagnant, we should aim to use these gifts to serve our communities, wherever we find ourselves situated – schools, churches, businesses, etc.
Mend a broken relationship (Matthew 6:14-15)
There are few better feelings than experiencing reconciliation with a person we have grown apart from, for whatever reason. Through Jesus Christ, our relationship with God has been reconciled and God desires all of our broken human relationships to be healed in the same way.
Go on a mission trip (Matthew 28:19)
Jesus’ final command was to go and make disciples in all corners of the Earth. While God indeed calls us to our local communities, there is something special about travelling to remote communities not only to assist practically and teach them about Jesus, but to witness the work that God is already doing there.
Memorise scripture (Psalm 119:11)
The Bible is a powerful tool for our faith journey. Memorising verses, chapters and books of Scripture does not only help us defend our faith, but assists us in being able to live out our lives reflecting the true Word, Jesus Christ.
Have an effective, dedicated prayer life (Philippians 4:6)
Prayer is powerful. Yet, is often one of the spiritual disciplines that we neglect the most. Having a healthy, consistent prayer life is essential to a healthy spiritual life.
Speak to others about Jesus (Psalm 22:22)
There are many different ways to evangelise, but we tend to complicate the process, looking for the perfect way to 'win people over to Jesus.' I believe that Jesus will win people over himself. All we need to do is find the courage and open our mouths to share our stories, telling others what Jesus has done for us.
Contribute positively to the environment (Genesis 1)
As people who have been entrusted to care for God’s creation, we should become more conscious of our impact on the environment. Perhaps we can start by committing to plant one new tree a year or implement recycling practices in our communities, etc. But whatever we decide to do, we can make a decision to care for God’s creation and teach others to do so as well.
It is important to note that when creating our own faith bucket list, it needs to be personal. When considering regular bucket lists, we understand that not every person wants to visit the Eiffel Tower or run a marathon. In the same way, my faith bucket list might look very different to yours.
We can be sure that the reward for fulfilling our faith bucket list will be far greater than the sense of accomplishment after completing our regular bucket lists.
What would your faith bucket list look like?