This morning I talked with someone who was describing some items on their bucket list. A “bucket list,” if you don’t know the term, is “a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying,” according to Such lists routinely include fun activities to do and interesting places to travel. One would think that for a Christian, one’s bucket list would be dominated by ways a Jesus-follower could influence the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. Alas(!), this often is not the case.

But what might it look like to create a list dominated by activities that could extend and expand God’s kingdom work in the world? Such a list might include such goals as:

  1. I want to increase the amount of time I set aside for intercessory prayer.
  2. I want to invite my neighbors, one family at a time, over for barbeque dinners with the hope of getting an opportunity to introduce them to Jesus.
  3. I want to spend intentional time with spiritually-minded friends for mutual encouragement in our common faith and seek out younger people whom I can mentor in the faith.
  4. I want to fill one or two ministry-gaps in my church, and thus become a meaningful part of what God is doing in my local church.
  5. I want to help others who are hurting.
  6. I want to financially support the work of world missions and thus become a larger part in what God is doing to reach the nations with the Good News of Jesus.
  7. I want to invest in the lives of my grandchildren (… or children, or nieces or brothers) since I may be one of the only people who can spiritually influence them.

Now, I recognize that your specific list might look different from the list above, as might mine, but this does not negate the fact that some activities have a better chance of impacting the world for Christ than do other activities. What about dreaming up a list of ways God might use you, rather than dreaming of what you can buy, where you might travel and how much you can focus on yourself? Maybe now is the time to draw up a different kind of bucket list.

This post and other resources are available at Kindle Afresh: The Blog and Website of Kenneth Berding.