- 1 Corinthians 16:15 (NKJV) —you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—
With Thanksgiving serving to make last week a short work week, Saturday’s briefing has finally emerged on Monday. However, I do want to touch base on an important issue—in light of the holiday season.
It is so easy to get side tracked when our schedules get derailed. Here’s what I want you to do during December—practice rabid resolve to do three things every day (except your Sabbath day of rest).
Every day, if you do not get everything else done do the following first:
1) Study for your next message/lesson.
Designate a certain amount of time that you will devote each day and devote that time. Thom S. Rainer in his excellent book, Breakout Churches states that one of the secrets to thriving churches is the study habits of their pastor (and this would go also for teachers). Rainer discovered that on average the pastors of thriving churches spent an average of twenty hours per week preparing for their sermons vs. leaders in the average churches who spent only five hours per week.
Preacher/Teacher, you simply must study every day; be rabidly resolved to do so.
2) Work on your 06×06 list.
Your 06×06 list is the top six things that you must achieve in the next six months. As a leader a huge part of your responsibility is to create the future for those you lead. This takes time and discipline. If your church/class is going to have a bright future it will require you being rabidly resolved every working day to spending a certain amount of time working through the top six things you must get done in the next six months.
Preacher/Teacher, if a part of your every day is not spent living in the future, your church/class does not have a future–only a dreary drizzle of same old same old.
3) Make a certain number of pastoral contacts every day.
Under God, you are not in the preaching/teaching business. Your job is not leading or managing. Both of those things are important; but what makes it all matter is that you are in the people business.
If you are not rabidly resolved to keep people in your life every day, your preaching/teaching will be sterile and academic and your people will have trouble seeing themselves in the future you are trying to create for them because, the truth be known, they were not really in it when you made your plans.
As we now enter the Christmas season, you are about to hit a whirlwind of activities and events—if you are not careful, you will get sidetracked from the things that really matter. You may not get to every email when people want you to, you may not return every call as promptly as you’d like and you may not cross every T and dot every I in as timely a matter as you’d like (they may not even get “crossed and dotted”), but if you will stay rabidly devoted to the three priorities I have given you, in the long run you will serve your people well and give a good account of yourself to the Chief Shepherd.
By the way, Merry Christmas!