In our modern culture, people often speak about having a bucket list. A bucket list consists of things you want to accomplish or experience before you “kick the bucket.” A quick internet search turns up dozens of books, blogs, websites, and even movies dedicated to ideas for bucket lists.
So what’s on your bucket list?
If you’re like most people, your list probably is composed of items like:
- Travel to a foreign country
- Swim with sharks
- Learn a new language
- Hike the Appalachian Trail
- Meet someone famous
- Write a book
- Attend a professional sporting event
The list could go on and on, and each person could come up with an entirely unique list. However, most bucket lists usually share one thing in common: They’re composed of “once-in-a-lifetime” events or experiences.
Leaving a Legacy
Our minister recently preached a series about leaving a legacy. (You can watch or listen to the series here.) In his last lesson about legacy, he introduced the idea of a spiritual bucket list. When we have a list of spiritual goals we are working towards, we not only increase our own faith, we leave a lasting effect on those we come in contact with. Both individuals and churches should have a bucket list.
So what might we include on a spiritual bucket list? We might include things like:
- Read the Bible all the way through
- Go on a mission trip
- Talk to a stranger about Jesus
- Convert someone to Christ
- Memorize a large passage of Scripture
- Get involved with a new ministry at church
- Support a missionary
Don’t these sound like wonderful, worthwhile challenges and opportunities? The difference between the typical bucket list and the spiritual bucket list is that the spiritual list doesn’t have to be–and shouldn’t be–a “one and done.” While a regular bucket list is designed to get shorter as items are checked off, I would suggest that a spiritual list should get longer as we continue to grow in spiritual maturity.
I challenge each of you to develop your own list of spiritual goals. Along with goals for yourself, consider creating a bucket list as a family. Develop a list with your small group or even with your whole congregation.
If the apostle Paul created a bucket list, I like to think that he might have added “win the crown of righteousness” to his list. After all, isn’t heaven the ultimate bucket list item we could ever hope to accomplish?