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7 Biblical Keys for Good Time Management
Have you ever sat at an airport and watched the people move throughout the terminal? Some walk slowly, others run frantically. The difference in pace is always related to time. Some are early and well prepared. Others are late due to unexpected delays or simple procrastination.
Because you cannot separate success from a wise use of time, time is an important part of life. Many evangelists (or pastors, ministers) attempt to be successful without giving much thought to time, but those who achieve success, respect and honor time in their ministry and personal life.
Paul wrote, “Let us not grow weary while doing good...As we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (Gal. 6:9-10). The Greek word for “opportunity” means making the most of your time. Time and opportunity are vitally linked to success in ministry.
Wasting time is sin. God is maker and ruler of time and He has entrusted us with this precious gift. We must recognize that God is the One who defines what is a waste. God defines a waste of time as anything that does not contribute to the fulfillment of His plan and purpose for us. You may ask, “Are recreation and rest wastes of time?” Not necessarily. God desires for you and I to take time to rejuvenate our bodies and minds and to have moments of pleasure and enjoyment. But as Ecclesiastes 3:1 declares, “There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Let’s explore how to win back our time and improve the quality of our ministries. To achieve this we must be willing to make a few changes as it relates to time wasters (television, daydreaming, procrastination, useless telephone conversations, surfing the internet).
The Bible gives us seven keys for good time management. Examine them closely and
take charge of your schedules and agendas. Based on what God intends for our daily schedule, make the appropriate adjustment and win back your time!
Key #1 Take Responsibility
The first key is to take responsibility for your use of time. The Bible challenges us to redeem the time, which means to make the most of our time that God has given us (Eph 5:16). Make a quality decision to take charge of your time. If you don’t manage your time, somebody else will.
Key #2 Seek God’s Direction
We must recognize that God has things for us to do on a daily basis. Ephesians 2:10 declares, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has planned, prepared and pre
arranged your day.
Each day, ask the Lord to help you identify His plan for your day. Ask Him who, how, and when should you minister by using the gifts that He has blessed you with.
Don’t limit God’s guidance to just work or ministry. Inquire of Him of when to spend recreation and family time as well. You’ll have a greater peace when you do.
Key #3 Plan Your Schedule
Days, weeks, and months can float by without accomplishing the fulfillment of God’s goals for your life. Without a well-thought schedule of daily deadlines, goals and dreams can slip away. Set a schedule, with deadlines, on a calendar or personal planner. Organize your time for maximum productivity and efficiency.
If mornings are your most productive times, don’t allow phone calls, appointments or meetings to drain your energy. Schedule calls and other appointments in the afternoon hours. Plan your schedule to maximize each moment of your day.
Key #4 Stay Organized
Throughout the Bible, we find numerous references about doing things in an orderly manner (Exodus 10:1-16 for example). Organization is the master key to efficiency. Continually searching for a document or lost items is a waste of time. While the definition of being organized may differ from person to person, seek the Lord to help stay organized in your ministry, finances and personal life. Without organization, you have confusion, which is not of God.
Key #5 Depend Upon God’s Wisdom
We read in Proverbs 4:7 that “wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom...” According to this scripture, wisdom is the most important thing a man or woman can obtain. Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. While you may know what you have to do that day, ask God to give you His ability to do it. I guarantee that once you get God’s wisdom on your knowledge, you’ll do it better, smarter and quicker.
Key #6 Eliminate the Unimportant
I am convinced that God has a strong dislike for distractions and derailments from His plan. We are wise to heed the same words that God spoke to Joshua concerning his life. He said, “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Josh 1:7). If a crisis or someone interrupts your concentration, do not allow it to consume your whole day and detour you from God’s plan. Stay on track with your day by prioritizing the most important task to the least. There are many tasks to do, but use laser focus and concentration on the top few. Pursue your goals vigorously.
Key #7 Review Your Day
At the end of the day, evaluate your day. Compare what you did to what you intended to do. Ask yourself:
After an honest review, give God praise for His guidance for the successful tasks you accomplished. If you recognize that you have made mistakes or have fallen short of the schedule you set for yourself, ask the Lord’s forgiveness for any wasted time. Don’t give up on the pursuit of your daily goals. Make adjustments, learn from the mistakes and begin the next day with enthusiasm and courage.
The wise use of time is the mark of discipline and vital to good success.
Is Your Ministry Excellent? If Not, It Can Be!
Many ministries and corporations ask me to speak on the subject of excellence. However, I always advise them that we cannot discuss Business Excellence or Ministry Excellence without discussing Personal Excellence.
The excellence in any organization begins with individuals within the organization. If the people are not excellent, the organization will not be excellent. Bill Kimsey, CEO of Ernst and Young International, writes, “Winning in this business is more about having the best people than anything else.” I believe the same thing is true in ministry.
Webster’s Dictionary defines excellence as the state of being exceptionally good in quality and character. The root word of excellence is excel which is defined as to be greater or to surpass others. Therefore to be a person of excellence is to surpass others by being exceptionally good in quality and character.
A good example of a person whose personal excellence caused promotion, preferential treatment and publicity in his life is Daniel. “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm (Daniel 6:3). Daniel’s godly character and tenacious stance concerning his faith in God led him to be preferred over other more-tenured leaders.
It wasn’t Daniel’s expensive clothes or neatly cropped hair that caused the king to pick him out of the crowd, Daniel’s excellent spirit caused King Darius to publicly proclaim Daniel’s promotion when others seemed to be more qualified.
As the leader, when you live your personal life in excellence, it will lift up a standard for your followers, members, or students to reach for.
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