Developing Kingdom Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “time management”

In Search of a Balanced Life

Did Jesus live a balanced life?  The following passages would seem to shed some light on the answer to this question.

And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him,for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.     Mark 3:9-10 ESV

Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat.  And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”     Mark 3:20-21   ESV

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.  And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.     Mark 6:31-32   ESV

As Jesus’ popularity grew, crowds gathered to hear him teach and to seek healing from various diseases – both physical and spiritual.  Such were the numbers and the daily pressures that the Twelve were no doubt used for ‘crowd control.’  Jesus had to remind the Twelve that as they kept many adults from pressing in to try and touch Him, they were not to keep back the little children (see Mark 10:13-14).

To the outside observers, including Jesus’ immediate family members, at the time, He seemed to be ‘out of his mind.’  But, He was carrying out the mission for which He came.  It was just that they did not understand Him at that time.  We see later in Acts 1:14 that they came to believe and understand more completely.  He said, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”  John 5:17  ESV

In the midst of the incredible demands upon Him, Jesus sought to lead the Twelve to periods of rest and solitude.  He knew the importance of ministry and serving from an overflow and reserve.  Yet, those ideals were often met with the pressing needs of others seeking His help.  It’s no wonder that He could fall sound asleep on a boat in the midst of a storm on the lake (Mark 4:37ff) or that the disciples had a hard time keeping their eyes open when asked to pray late into the night (Mark 14:37ff).

So, did Jesus live a balanced life?  It depends on what you mean by ‘balanced.”  Did Jesus have times of intense schedule and pressing demands?  Yes.  Did He appear to others to be ‘out of balance’ at times?  Yes.  But, He also sought to model for others one who worked hard and yet, took time away for rest.

Paul reminds us, “… I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”   Ephesians 4:1   ESV

Wise Travel and the Kingdom Leader

Often, one of the consequences of increased leadership responsibilities is more travel away from home.  This increased ‘away time’ puts added stress on family, local, and routine operational responsibilities.  How to wisely handle this travel and optimize it for all involved is key to being an effective leader.

1.  The first question to ask is, “Why am I making this trip?  Is it truly essential that I go, or could someone else represent me?  Could what I hope to accomplish be handled via phone or video conference?”  Maybe you don’t have to make the trip at all!

2.  When booking air travel, have you allowed enough time for the seemingly inevitable delays in arrivals, departures or connections?  Booking too tightly increases stress load and decreases enjoyment if you are running from gate to gate to make a connecting flight.

3. When planning your schedule at the destination, think of dividing the work day into three parts – morning, afternoon and evening.  Those planning your schedule upon arrival should be informed that they can only fill two of these three parts each day.  Thus, you will have a portion of each day for rest, reflection, catch up and dealing with any unexpected crisis.

4.  Be wise on what you eat and when you get to sleep on trips, especially if you have time zone changes such as on international trips.  If hosted, you will often be treated with great generosity of sight-seeing events, shopping for family gifts, wonderful meals, etc.  Being out of your normal routines can make self-control and self-discipline difficult.  Pace yourself!

5.  For truly extended trips of a couple of weeks, consider a one or two-day break in the middle of the trip for restoration and rejuvenation.

6.  Be sure your spouse knows how to contact you if needed, especially for emergencies.  Even today, not every place has easy internet or mobile phone connections.

7.  When returning home, it’s easy to think that the trips is over when you ‘hit the front door’ upon your return.  You’ve been giving out for some time and now you just want to crash and relax.  On the other hand, your spouse has been at home while you’ve been away, and you have a lot to catch up on.  If there are children still at home, the one who stayed home probably needs a break from the kids.

A wise mindset is this, when returning home from a trip, tell yourself that the trip ends the day after you return.  That is, you are still in the ‘giving out’ mindset when you hit the home front – especially the first 24 hours after your return.  Focus on the kids and your spouse’s needs, not your own.  Seek to serve them, not be served by them.

When’s your next trip?  Are you planning ahead for more than just how you will spend the days away?  Are you planning wisely not only for the trip, but for your return?

Leaders Who Have No Time

The management of our time as leaders is truly a management of ourselves.  Time is one of the most precious commodities a leader has and using it wisely is essential to accomplishing all that Jesus intends for us.  Effective and efficient use of our time can increase our influence for Christ.

Yes, efficiency and time management emphasis may be seen and dismissed as a Western culture value and not broadly applicable.  But, Kingdom leaders must address what the bible says about time use.  We want our leadership to be biblically rooted, culturally relevant, and practically effective.  We don’t want to export Western time management methodology (i.e. suggesting all leaders should use MS Outlook software, breaking each day into 15 minute appointment segments).  Rather, we want to export a biblical view of time management that allows freedom for the local context to create or adapt methods that fit the context.

Below are some important principles related to the wise use of time for leaders and an introductory bible study on the subject of time management for leaders.

Principles of Time Management

  1. Plan your time  –  Psalms 90:10,12
  1. Don’t waste time  –  Ephesians 5:15-17
  1. Respect other’s time use –  Philippians 2:4
  1. We have enough time for what God wants  –  Ecclesiastes 3:1
  1. Work by priorities  –  Proverbs 24:27
  1. Plan your time with a margin  –  Proverbs 19:2

Time Management  –  Bible Study

Genesis 26:25  –  always based on priorities as illustrated by Isaac

Proverbs 24:27  –  work by priorities

Jeremiah 31:21 – our guideposts are our goals

Ecclesiastes 3:1  –  there is time for everything

Psalm 90:12  –  plan your time

Proverbs 16:9 – plan, but leave the out working to God

Proverbs 19:2 – zeal without a plan is wasted energy

Proverbs 21:5  –  planning and hard work lead to success

Luke 14:28-30 –  planning is part of being a disciple

Romans 15:23-29 – Paul planned his ministry

1 Corinthians 9:26 – Paul did not run his life aimlessly

1 Corinthians 14:40  –  do all things in an orderly way

Ephesians 5:10,15 – planning pleases God as it allows us to make the most of our time

Colossians 4:5  –  we are commanded to manage our time wisely

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