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Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday Reality Check: Are Your Values in Your Schedule?

Calendar2A great reminder from Bill at Cadre Ministries...

If you're a Christian who is married, let me guess what you might say are your top three VALUES in life:

1. God
2. Spouse
3. Kids

Did I get it right?

The act of identifying and declaring our values in this way tends to make us feel pretty good about ourselves. These are noble values. But before you pat yourself on the back, you'd better take a good look into the mirror of your schedule--and dare to answer these questions with specific numbers:

* How much time in minutes did you get with GOD last week? Last month?

* How much time in minutes did you get with your SPOUSE last week? Last month?

* How much time in minutes did you get with your KIDS last week? Last month?

It's one thing to say, "God, my spouse, and my kids are my top three VALUES," but it's quite another to make them your top three PRIORITIES in your schedule.

Oh, but you say, "I admit I haven't gotten much time with my top three values lately, but the little time I did get was quality time."

Those who think like this only deceive themselves--for QUALITY time is an accident that happens during QUANTITY time.

Don't talk to me about your values. Show me your values prominently displayed in your schedule.

Can you honestly say that your top three VALUES are the top three PRIORITIES in your schedule?

If not, what do you plan to do about it?

Don't just sit there staring at the computer screen. Close the distance between what you say you value most and how you schedule your life and time NOW...

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April 17, 2006 in Leadership Issues | Permalink

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Ouch. Absolutely right.

If our schedules don't match our "values" then it's only lip-service.

And I've been one of the best at that since entering the ministry.

I've got plenty of excuses - tri-vocational, finishing classes for ordination, ministry tasks that others are unwilling to do, blah blah blah.

What's going to happen when I am out of excuses? For instance, Lord willing, I will be done with my classes this week (Today, I hope!!! :)). I have already informed the Christian high school that I will not be teaching next year, so I will only have one other job besides church. And we're getting more aggressive about how our church and it's ministry define and do ministry - around those who are gifted instead of those who are willing to plug holes. This will allow me to use my time more wisely and delegate more to our volunteers, since I'm the only one on staff.

I have to admit that my family has been awesome in all this, but they deserve better. And with God as my helper, they will get better (I mean, I will be better for THEM, not that they need to BECOME better ;)).

My guess is that I'm not the only one here who has once again been confronted with the need to put their calendar where their mouth is.

I've heard it said, and it is so true: Your calendar doesn't SET your priorities, it REVEALS them.

Praying for all of us as I write this...


Posted by: Brian La Croix | Apr 17, 2006 11:06:50 AM

I think I mainly agree, but if you work a 40 a week job, then God, family, and kids cannot have top priority... if we are counting minutes. This is especially true if your pastor deems it necessary for all his staff to work 50+ hours a week (as a lot of pastors do).
With this, my question is why aren't we trying to find a job where we can spend less time at work? And if your a pastor, are you encouraging your staff to spend time with their families (for real, and not just saying it), and also encouraging your staff to be spending "work" hours building their relationship with God, as it is out of their relationship that they will be able to help others to truly know God.

Posted by: Aaron | Apr 17, 2006 2:41:34 PM

Bill does great stuff. Glad he's getting some more exposure, here.

Posted by: Len | Apr 18, 2006 12:45:44 AM

GREAT point, Aaron. Truth is, the Institutional Church structure is not really designed w/this priority list in mind. If you do your "staff" thing, then teach a class, sing on the praise team, participate in "visitation" night, etc. Next thing you know, what you're displaying to your family (and your neighbors, for that matter) is that you don't have time for them because they're not as important as "the church". Which begs the question, "What/who is the church?". As a pastor, your first field of ministry is under your roof. Another problem tends to arise if you begin to back out of some of these "volunteer" areas. Then, your commitment gets questioned. My wife and I decided about 5 years ago to take a sabbatical for about 90 days from the I.C. The resulting family, community and spiritual growth we experienced (especially that our kids experienced) has led us to stay out. For us, it has been quite a refreshing time of hands-on neighborhood ministry, stronger, more honest community and TONS more time for our kids. May not be for everyone, but that's our experience.

Posted by: danny | Apr 18, 2006 11:03:40 AM

The first stage of a £150m investment in regional museums is praised for boosting visitor numbers.

Posted by: Gerald Jett | Jun 22, 2007 2:44:16 AM

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