Warning: Your Schedule May Be Sabotaging Your Priorities

 

In my last post, I asked four key questions to get you thinking about whether your stated goals and your real-life activities line up.

Here’s what I’ve been mulling over lately and why I’m asking these questions:  Our time is our most precious resource.  We can’t get a single hour back once it’s gone, so how we spend our time is important.  What we spend our time doing is the best indicator of what and who we value most.

Our lives are a compilation of our relationships including our relationship with God, with our family, friends, and co-workers.  Yes, our accomplishments have a role to play and I’m all for striving to achieve our best work.  However, when we really focus on what’s most important we know it’s our relationships that truly matter.

In ministry, we’re focused on people. We’re reaching people with the Gospel, leading them to Christ, making disciples, and creating a family atmosphere in our churches.

However, it’s easy to get so focused on the work of ministry that we can sometimes forget the purpose of ministry.

We’re looking at budgets, scheduling appointments, coordinating volunteers, dealing with building maintenance issues, launching new programs, and more.

Those tasks are needed and require our best efforts.  As we work on those items, the challenge is to remember why those are necessary.  It’s not about proving how well we can manage finances, although that’s important.  The ultimate goal isn’t to be the most organized or the most visionary leader – as valuable as both of those are.  The true purpose is to love and serve people as we lead them to a deeper relationship with Christ.

Loving and helping people sounds a bit ethereal to this concrete thinker (and probably to most Type-A, driven leaders out there), so how does this play out on a day-to-day basis?

  • It’s asking about a coworkers kids or hobbies and showing genuine interest in her life.
  • It’s listening carefully to a staff member’s idea, even one you initially don’t like, to understand where he’s coming from and why this is so important to him.
  • It’s calling your wife during the day to ask how her day is going and ask her out for a date night.  These aren’t huge tasks or projects to complete.

 

This involves simple, consistent actions over time to communicate how much you value and love those around you.

Our society tends to recognize people for their accomplishments, not their relationships.  I think we have that backwards.  Having strong, healthy relationships in our busy culture is a tremendous accomplishment. I’m reevaluating my schedule to make sure it reflects who and what I say are most important to me.  I’m inviting you to join me.  I’m convinced that our lives and ministries will be richer as a result.

What did your schedule reveal about your priorities?  How do you manage the need to accomplish key tasks with cultivating strong relationships?