I would like to share a few helps with you to assist you in managing your time well. These are pointers that have worked for me, and I trust they will help you.
1. Set Priorities for Your Time
Decide what the most important things are you need to do, and make time for those things first.
Time with God
“And Enoch walked with God.” Gen. 5:22
Abraham “Was called the Friend of God.” James 4:23
“Walk in the Spirit.” Gal. 5:16
When it comes to marriage and family, love is spelled time. How tragic it would be to spend our life reaching others and lose our own children at home. Charles Francis Adams, a 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today; a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father; the most wonderful day of my life!" What the father saw as a waste, the son saw as an investment. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know your ultimate purpose in life.
Keep your marriage sweet. Work at it! Take time to date – even if it is breakfast or lunch. Maintain a daily “couch time” (time to talk together). Practice the five languages of love:
- Words of Encouragement, 1 Corinthians 8:1
- Gift Giving, Ephesians 5:25
- Acts of Service, 1 John 3:18
- Quality Time, Mark 3:14
- Physical Touch and Closeness, Mark 10:13-16
This time will be different for every person in the ministry because no two people or ministries are alike. God uses different missionaries with different:
- Likes and dislikes
- Opportunities, 1 Corinthians 16:9
Consider the differences shown in the lives of Paul and Barnabas. Paul was a trailblazer always opening new fields, while Barnabas was more of an encourager who enjoyed confirming and strengthening believers. God used the unique traits of both men gloriously. Evaluate your ministry time with the following questions:
- Is God blessing this effort?
- Am I sowing seed or spinning my wheels?
- Ask wise and trusted counselors, “What do you think of this effort?”
- Ask your spouse, “Is this a good idea?”
- Am I growing in my leadership and ministry as a result of my schedule? - Do I have five years of experience or do I have one year of experience five times?
2. Divide Up Your Day
View your week in twenty-one time slots: Mornings (8am-12pm), Afternoons (1-5pm), Evenings (6-10pm)
My 21 Time Slots:
Plan how you would like to use your twenty-one time slots.
3. Guard Your Mornings
- Ask your family to help.
- Ask the church family to help - to call on you in the afternoon, unless it is an emergency. (At some point, when all has been said, commit it to the Lord and keep it in prayer).
- Discipline yourself to tackle the toughest job first.
4. Miscellaneous Tips about Managing Your Time
Pros & cons of having your office at home
|No traffic||Family interruptions|
|Go to work in your pajamas||Divided attention with household|
You can go to work after dinner
|You can go to work after dinner|
|Save money||Limited space|
|Babysit while wife is shopping||Babysit while wife is shopping|
Consider Your Computer Usage
- Delegate - does your wife want to do email?
- If possible, have internet access in a high traffic area like the kitchen.
- Stay away from non-essential and junk email traffic.
“Email can become overwhelming. You can become a slave to it. I thought to be a good missionary I had to answer every email. Then I determined to write one general letter and send it to everyone who wrote me.” Missionary Debbie Harris – Australia
5. Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing
Jesus spent half of His three and a half years with the crowds and the other half training twelve leaders.
“Remember you get what you look for, what you expect, what you honor. From day one look for those who God is touching, calling, and preparing to serve Him in the full time ministry. Believe God! Believe that He can in your country and with your people call, prepare, and place a man in the ministry now!” - An Independent Baptist Missions Website
Do not end up off course. Do not end up shipwrecked.
Paul said, “Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world... I have finished my course.”