I have found that determining when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no' is one of the most difficult, yet important issues, in life and ministry.
This weekend I received an e-mail from a friend regarding an important theological issue of our day. As I was headed to church early Sunday morning I began to think of how I could address this issue. Teach a class, write some curriculum, do a seminar, and then the moment of truth........when? When would I have the time to prepare, and when would I have the time to teach it?
Early on in my ministry at Bethel, Steve DeWitt taught me that ministry is a black hole. There is always more ministry to be done than there is time to do it. The same is true of life; there is always more to be done than there are hours in the day.
A favorite verse of mine through the years has been Eph. 5:16 (KJV) "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." In other words, we have to make the most of the time and gifts that God has given to us. How do we do this? While there is much that can be written here, I will simply make two suggestions:
1) Prioritize. Redeeming the time means that we do the things that are most important first. If we are to do this we have to align our priorities with God's and then strategically and passionately pursue them. For the believer this means that I first and foremost focus upon my relationship with Christ and then out of that relationship I attend to my other priorities (for me: husband, father, church member, employee). In ministry this means that I focus my efforts on the things that will most strategically and effectively accomplish the mission of the church in making disciples and building the Kingdom.
2) Pray. This seems simplistic, but it is true. We must pray that God will give us the wisdom to prioritize correctly. We must pray that He will help us to say no to things that are good but are not the best. We must pray that He will keep us from wasting time. And, finally, we must pray that He will establish the work of our hands (Psalm 90:17).
We only have one life to live, so, Lord, teach us to number our days aright! (Psalm 90:12)
- Chris Carr
- I am a husband to Eva, father of 4, pastor, and most of all passionate follower of Jesus Christ. The focus of my life is to make the most of every opportunity God gives me to bring glory to Him. Outside of the time spent in my role as a pastor, I spend most of my time with my family -- a good deal of that coaching various sports teams that my children are involved with. Every fall and winter you will find me rushing to the woods of Indiana and West Virginia in search of a monster whitetail buck.