Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
There is much to do and very little time to get it all done. Our eternal rewards will be determined by what we get done while we are here on Earth. I pray this month's article will prove to be helpful as you strive to serve the Savior.
YES, YOU CAN GET IT ALL DONE!
Almost everyone I know complains that they have more to do than they can get done in the time they have. I often find myself saying the same thing. But the truth of the matter is that we have all the time we need to succeed. Our problem is that we do not effectively manage our time and workload. Denying the truth about our faults during the time of our pilgrimage here on Earth will not help us in the future when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Things we can't use to excuse our failures:
1. Ignorance We can't blame ignorance because the answers are available if we seek them. All we have to do is take the time to learn. The only reasons we don't learn what we need is that we are too undisciplined, apathetic, or feel unable to learn. Believing you lack the intelligence to learn is really a lack of faith. The bible clearly states that God will give you the wisdom you need if you ask Him. (James 1:5)
2. Help We can't blame a lack of help because we are the ones who are responsible for recruiting volunteers and training them to help. If there is no one to recruit or train then we probably have the wrong priorities. Our job is to reach people for Christ. If we do, then we will have a pool of people to work with. If we don't reach anyone then we have few people to serve and our work load is so small that we can do everything ourselves.
3. Time We set our own priorities, even if we work for someone else. Bosses reward production and success. If you are producing and can show your boss how you can produce more if they allow you to control your time, they will more than likely concede. So, in reality, if your boss controls your time it is probably because they don't feel you will do a good job if left to yourself.
4. Money Budgets are great but there is never enough money to pay for everything. However, you will find that people in your field will often lend you the resources that will teach you what you need to know, or they will teach you what you need to know for free. However, I recommend that you spend your own money to improve. It has been said that you are what you spend money on. Financial commitment helps insure you don't waste the resources available. When things are free you often treat them like they are worth nothing.
5. Spiritual Gifts Some feel ill equipped to accomplish what they have been called by God to do. My response to that is that God is not a cruel taskmaster and He would never call you to a ministry without providing the gifts required to accomplish the work. 1 Tim 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
6. Incompetent Boss. This is the worst excuse of all and I hear it all too often when counseling with church staff members. More full-time Christian workers are placed in the body in a subservient relationship than in the most senior position. It follows that God will not place the vast majority of His servants in a position where they cannot succeed. So that means that God will prosper you even if you are under the control of a less than stellar boss. King David served Saul for years, but he was blessed by God for his faithfulness.
Things we can do to help get it all done!
1. Environment: Your office is very important. When we hire someone on our church staff the first thing we do is set them up in a really nice office. We let them design it themselves and then we buy them a good computer and great communication equipment. They can perform work from anywhere, but they prefer to be in their office. Their offices are quiet, comfortable, well lit, and conveniently located near each other. You may not be able to spend lots of money on offices, but you need to understand that the environment can be a major distraction and make it hard to get any work done. If the room is too hot or cold people won't want to be there. If it is noisy and furnished with Salvation Army throw away furniture the workers won't want to bring people to their office for appointments or to accomplish work. The bottom line is that if you outfit people in unprofessional environments don't expect them to perform professionally.
2. Organization Structure is vitally important. You must have your files organized and know where everything is. Your organizational systems must be designed to eliminate wasted time and allow you to know exactly what you are doing and when you are going to do it. Everything can be organized; even disruptions and drop-ins. You can publish when you are free to receive drop-ins, when you return telephone calls, when you like to receive tasks from your boss, and when you need to be left alone to perform work. There are probably more books written on organizing your environment, time, and calendar than anything else.
3. Goals Without written goals you will accomplish little more than reacting to things that happen to you. In most ministries the telephone rings all day long, emails arrive by the hundreds, and there are so many things that need to be accomplished routinely that you will not find any time to accomplish the things that really matter. Study after study has proven that those who succeed do so because they have clearly defined, written goals.
4. Workable Plan If you do not plan when you are going to work the plan that leads to the accomplishment of your goals you will spend your day reacting to minutia and not progressing toward your goals. I know you have probably heard this speech a hundred times, but it is still the single most important thing you can do to get everything done that you need to get done. There must be a time when you sit down and decide what you are supposed to accomplish and design a way to get there. The plan must be workable or it won't work. It is just that simple.
5. Constant Progress You need to constantly examine your progress toward your goals or you will drift off course. Multitudes set great goals and devise great plans to get there, but after a few months they realize they have fallen back into the disastrous routine of reacting to the endless tide of meaningless expectations others have cast upon them. It should be no surprise to learn that people who are successful are successful because of the things they decide not to do as well as by the things they decide to do.
Learning to work efficiently and developing the discipline to do what you have learned is a life long process. Leaders are readers and learning is the wind in the sail that powers their ship to success. Yes, the bible is the most important book on leadership, but it is not the only book on leadership and management you should read. I encourage you to visit your local bookstore or visit AMAZON online and scan the resources available. While most of the books are not written by Christians, they teach principles that are biblical. Remember that Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, taught Moses about delegation. While Jethro was not a Hebrew, God chose to use him to help Moses learn how to handle his workload.
Lastly, it should be noted that knowledge is not the end goal. Multitudes who are overweight know how to lose weight. The problem is that their flesh fights against their heart and mind and makes it difficult to do what they know is right. The same thing happens to those who are trying to implement the leadership skills they know. They have to overcome entrenched bad habits and implement what they know is right. This is a problem for me as well as every other person who leads.
The solution to this truth is reading, prayer and practice. We must continually refresh our vision of leadership and pray regularly and fervently for the Lord to help overcome our flesh. We must then constantly exercise the new desired behavior until it becomes ingrained and replaces our old behaviors. So, start praying now and see if God will do as He promised. Remember, you have not because ye ask not.
-Excerpt from Jeff Wade's monthly newsletter. Subscribe at www.bibleleader.com to receive your own!