Published Feb 07, 2023
Leaders have all joked about needing an extra day in their week. I may have even joked about it a few times myself. Our most limited resource is our time, which is under constant attack from every direction. Would it really make a difference, though, if we had an eight-day week? I think not. Our struggle is not the need for more time. It’s about the methodology we utilize concerning the management of our time.
We try and manage the endless assault of tyrannical urgencies, yet often find ourselves completely drained of our energy, focus, and…time. The most deflating parts happen when what we truly value, like evangelism, finds little to no progress at all. Evangelism is something we highly value as individuals and as churches. Often included in our prayers are those we know and care for who are far from God, yet we struggle to make progress on evangelizing them. Evangelism, as well as the litany of other areas of wild importance, often sits on the back burner because its urgency doesn’t have a built-in deadline until it is too late. How do we fix this?
When I was a kid, I liked playing King-of-the-Hill. I’ve always been bigger than most, which was an advantage in the game. King-of-the-Hill is an example of how to employ good time management. Our priorities sit on top of the hill, and our job is to keep “good” stuff from taking over “the most important” stuff. When an assault comes up the hill at us, we often ask, “Do I have time for this?” That’s the wrong question. A better question would be, “Does this matter most?” and if it does not, kick it down the hill. It doesn’t mean you have done away with it, but instead, you have protected “what matters most” over what is simply an urgent matter.
Once you have established and protected your most important priorities – like evangelism, the next step is to assign some elements to that priority:
- Create a measurable goal for that priority, “Our church will have 1,000 gospel engagements… “
- Establish a deadline to meet your measurable goal, “…this year.”
- Develop a plan to accomplish it. “We will have 4 evangelism initiatives this year to reach this goal.”
You now have created urgency for what matters most. If intentionality is not incorporated into your priorities, you will always struggle to have enough time to finish what matters most.
As I travel the state, I often hear how much evangelism matters to our churches. I also see that for most, evangelism stops short as an aspirational value. It is not being accomplished as pastors would like. “Our church will have 1,000 gospel engagements this year. We will have 4 evangelism initiatives this year to reach this goal.”This is measurable and has a deadline. You now need a plan to accomplish this. What is urgent and what is wildly important is now a holy matrimony.
Here is awesome news about time management! If you fiercely protect the top of your hill, you will find all the time you like to pick from the stuff you kicked down the hill. Some of that is stuff you want to spend time on, and now you have the freedom to address it in your spare time. But, if you fail to manage your time, the assault of other urgencies will manage your time for you, and what matters most will never move from aspirational to intentional.