Three Words to Guide Me in 2017


As the new year began several years ago, I chose three words to guide me in the year ahead. These words related to my larger goals and my sense of vocation – my sense of how the Lord is uniquely calling me. It’s a practice I continue each year.

It started when my son Mark pointed me to a blog by Christopher Penn, whose writing pointed to another blogger, Chris Brogan. Brogan first implemented the three-word exercised in 2006, as an alternative to making New Year’s resolutions, and he has been choosing three words ever since.

For 2016, my three words were: Gratitude, Daily, and Acknowledge. Focusing on these three words successfully helped me focus on God’s provision for each day – a focus on the words “Give us this day our daily bread” found in the Lord’s Prayer.

My three words for 2017 move in a different direction and I’d like to share them with you!

My Three Words for 2017

#1 – Questioning. This pertains to both questioning the status quo to see if there is a better way to do things and move forward, and it also applies to questioning people to learn more about their stories and what makes them tick. I want to be more curious in 2017.

#2 – Connecting. This was one of my three words two years ago, but this year I am using it in a slightly different way. This year I aim to connect more deeply with friends and family, but also build stronger connections with more people in my daily life and ministry spheres.

As my good friend John Kimmons says, “It’s all about relationships.” In this, relationships depend upon deepening connections with people. This is what I want to focus on in 2017.

#3 – Storytelling. With the release of the new Life Explored series in September of 2016, I’ve been reflecting on the power of story in communication. As I read the Gospels, it’s hard to miss the fact that Jesus was a master storyteller. One of the many things I need to learn from Jesus – as I seek to grow to be more like him – is the art of storytelling and communicating the gospel.

There you have it! Three words to guide me in 2017: Questioning, Connecting, and Storytelling.

If you find this three-word exercise to be intriguing – why not try it out? I would love to hear your three words. Leave a comment below or email me at:


3 thoughts on “Three Words to Guide Me in 2017

  1. Pingback: My Three Words for 2018 – Telling the gospel

  2. Pingback: 3 Words for 2019 – Telling the Gospel

  3. Pingback: Three Words for 2021 – TELLING THE GOSPEL

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