LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Managing Time

I've begun a new partnership with Phil Ogilvie and the Sophos Symposium. (No, I don't know what "Sophos" means, and yes, I realize I could Google it quickly and figure it out, but does it really matter?)

The concept is pretty simple, really. Every couple of weeks, Phil will post a question to members of his network. We will each answer on our own blog, and Phil will pull all of the answers together as an effort to help church leaders around the world. The rumor is that there are some cool leaders also participating, so I'm hopeful some of their coolness rubs off on me.

Question 1: How we spend our time can be the difference between a great Christian leader and a good one. The role of a pastor is said to be a 24 hour job. What are some practical steps you take as someone in ministry to guard your time with family and other priorities?

My Answer: I have 4 kids and 1 wife (I tried it the other way around, but it didn't work so well). Guarding my time with them is the hardest, and most important thing that I do.

  • I've learned not to wait until the work is finished to go home. It's never finished. You just go home.
  • I go on regular dates with my wife (about twice each month).
  • I take each of my daughters (6th and 8th grades) on dates weekly.
  • I guard my off-time. Rarely do I schedule a meeting or plan something work-related on an off day.
  • My wife and I vacation every year without the kids (Aruba awaits 8 weeks from now!).
  • I plan my off-time way ahead of time. I don't wait for an open slot on the calendar. I look several months ahead and plan time off, vacation time and time with the kids.
  • I value personal down time. Even when there is still work to be done (translated: souls to be saved, lives to be rescued), I still make time to go to a movie or kill some terrorists with a friend on XBox. Yes, killing terrorists renews my soul.
  • I prioritize the kids school events, concerts and activities. My wife knows if it gets on my calendar ahead of time--I'll work everything else around it.

For a highlight and summary of this question offered to Christian leaders around the world visit SOPHOS.