If your schedule is anything like mine, from Thanksgiving to early June is booked. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, starting off new school semesters, winter revival, stewardship emphasis, Easter, graduations…. It fills up pretty fast.
There are certain things I love to do. I love to organize, to decorate, and to bake desserts. I love to entertain and spend quality time with my family. I love to dream big and see those dreams come to reality. I also love leading the ladies ministry of our church.
I hope you’ve made time over the past week or so to prayerfully evaluate needed areas of growth in your life and set some goals for this New Year. Setting goals, however, is the easy part; living them out in day-sized pieces over the coming year is the challenge.
I love the New Year for the fresh start it gives us on setting goals and making life adjustments. But in all our preparing and planning, it’s good to remember that our lives belong to God, and we are simply stewards—managers—of what He has entrusted to us.
The final days of the year are some of my favorite—they always have been. There are many reasons that this is the case, including Christmas and extra time with family. But, more recently, this time of the year has become one of my favorites because I have found it to be a time of reflection and preparation for the new year.
If planning counts as productivity, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is my most productive! This is my week for setting goals and planning out the “big rocks” in my calendar for the coming year.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s has long been claimed territory on my calendar for goal setting. In the weeks previous, I’ve jotted down general ideas for goals for the New Year, but on this week, I prayerfully finalize these goals.
If you’re like me, not everything on your to-do list or project list gets done. And yet, if you’re like me, it’s vital that certain projects do get done. Of course, the difference in what gets done and what doesn’t get done fundamentally relates to the choices we make in preparation and execution.
For a perfectionist, particularly a type A perfectionist, the word excellence has a nice ring to it—a seductive ring. “You say I should pursue excellence? Sure! I’d be glad to. In fact, I’ll do more. I’ll insist on excellence—at every level, in every realm.” And that’s just the beginning!
When people enter your church, do they sense a clear mission and direction? Is it immediately obvious that the church has a focus and goal behind its existence? The purpose of administration is to build a successful, thriving church centered on glorifying God to the very best of our abilities.
Furlough is a time that we as missionaries look forward to, and we should. It can be a great time for families to make memories and to get refocused on serving the Lord. However, like anything else, a good furlough takes planning to be successful. Honestly, sometimes when I have a day off, I fail to plan it well, and always regret it afterward. We can’t let that happen with our furloughs, so here are some tips that have helped me during my last two times back in America.
Several years ago I was in downtown Iloilo City. After doing what I needed to do, I got in a taxi. The driver asked where I wanted to go and I told him to go to Iloilo Baptist Church in Jaro. Most taxi drivers know our place, so I did not think much about it and began to work on some paperwork. After about 20 minutes, the taxi stopped. I had not been paying attention to where he was going, because of my work. Then I looked up, there I was inside the compound of the largest Roman Catholic Church in our region of the country, the Jaro Cathedral.
You have heard the saying, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” There are no teachers or administrators who want to fail, but we must take time to plan out our year, our months, our days, and our school hours or we will fail. Learn to get in the routine of planning and making sure the “big rocks” get scheduled so everyone succeeds!
I use a template document for typing my sermon notes. But I guard against a template philosophy in preparing my sermons. My church deserves fresh sermons that are prayed over and thoroughly studied for—not cycled through.
Do you ever feel that you have more responsibilities than time in which to perform them? Actually, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t feel that way! Thankfully, God has given us a resource to help us make decisions concerning our time. It’s called wisdom!
Walk into any bookstore, and you will find dozens—maybe even hundreds—of books on life management. (I have many in my own library.) There are books on organizing, scheduling, budgeting, prioritizing, administrating, goal-setting, people-managing…obviously, life management is a popular and necessary skill.