Leadership

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I know many church leaders who struggle with time management. But the good news is, it’s something you can learn. 

You might think that some people are just naturally good at managing their time. But that’s not true. 

The Bible tells us that time management can be taught. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days…” (NKJV).

If you’re struggling to get your time under control, follow these four steps from Paul to help you manage your time and make your life more effective:

1. Evaluate your lifestyle. “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15 NASB).

Paul tells us to have an objective and to manage our lives in a way that helps us achieve that goal. He urges us to be purposeful in our lifestyle decisions. 

The starting point to a life of purpose, Paul says, is to “be careful how you walk [live your life].

To do that, you need to determine where your time is going right now. You can’t save time until you find out where you’re losing it first. Just like a budget tells you where you want your money to go, you need to analyze your time, so you know where it’s going. 

You can start by keeping a time log for at least a couple of days. You’ll be surprised by how you spend your time, and this step will help you spend it better.  Perhaps it’s time to stop doing good things…so you have time to do great things!

2. Emphasize what’s important. “So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17 NASB).

Now that you know where your time is going, you can prioritize what’s important.

Paul tells us to “understand” the will of God, making it possible to focus on the right things.

This makes sense, because if God put us on earth, he has something for us to do. The good news is that God’s will for your life isn’t a mystery. He tells us what he wants us to do in his Word. 

In fact, God has five purposes for your life. He wants you to love him, love others, become like Christ, serve people, and tell people about him. 

Nothing matters more than these five things. If you get everything done on your calendar at the end of the week, but you don’t fulfill these purposes, you’ve missed the point. 

Understanding these truths will simplify your life. Time management isn’t about how to get more done in less time. Effective time management is knowing what matters most—and doing that, not worrying about the rest. 

We have just enough time to do what God wants us to do.

A motto I have lived by for over 50 years in ministry is this:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
‘Till your good is better
And your better is best!

3. Economize your energy. “Making the most of your time” (Ephesians 5:16 NASB).

Time management is energy management. Just like you have a limited amount of time in life, you also have a limited amount of energy. You don’t have enough energy to do everything. You need to decide what’s important.

Although you’re free in Christ, Paul reminds us that not everything is beneficial (1 Cor. 10:23). In Romans 12:11, he tells us to “fervent in serving the Lord” (NASB).

That’s the best way we can use our limited energy. 

Don’t waste your limited energy on things that won’t matter in eternity. If you’re too busy to do the five things God, put you on earth to do, you’re too busy. It’s time for a little rearranging. 

If you recognize that you don’t have enough time to do what God wants you to do, something must go. If you’re going to add something, you need to cut something out.

Don’t keep adding on. 

4. Engage the present“Make the most of your time [opportunities] because the days.” are evil days” (Ephesians 5:16 NASB).

To make the best use of your time, start living in the moment. Most people never learn how to do this because they’re always focused on the past or on the future. 

Too often we put off until tomorrow what we should do today because we’re waiting for perfect conditions. The problem is perfect conditions never come. Quit making excuses and get on with what God wants you to do.

In fact, I want to encourage you to do these five things every day.

  • Use today to worship God. Don’t save worship for Sunday.
  • Use today to fellowship. Call a friend. Have lunch with someone. Spend some time building up your relationships. 
  • Use today to grow spiritually. Be committed to being more spiritually fit today than you were yesterday. Get back into the Word!
  • Use today to serve others. Don’t wait to care for others. You never know if you’ll have another opportunity.
  • Use today to share your faith. Again, you don’t know how many more opportunities you’ll have to tell your neighbor, your friend, or your family member about Jesus. Start that conversation today.

This is what God has created you to do. Make it a regular part of each day you’re on this planet.

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Written by Stan Ponz
Dr. Stan Ponz is founder and president of Make It Clear Ministries (a national ministry that began in 1973 to help people take the Gospel and the Word of God into every person's world!). Stan also serves as President of Clarity Christian College. and is married to his high school sweetheart Carol, who led him to the Lord in 1966.