This week I am pondering how we might pursue improvement in our preaching ministries. Last time I thought about training. Today let’s talk time. (If you want to see the poll on LinkedIn, click here. There is also a poll on the Facebook page here.)
We probably all wish we had more time. Truth is, we can only free up the time we have and use it better. Some things cannot be avoided – demands on our time from a certain amount of pastoral crisis (although boundaries are important here to protect us from too much), and family responsibilities (boundaries are needed to protect this time).
I had an email from a friend the other day pondering the signs of superficiality. Included in his list were such issues as prayerlessness, failure to get into the Word, failure to read solid meat materials, great time wasting, a passion for secondary issue pursuits and the latest fad. We also need to take stock of the age in which we live – an age characterized by instant and constant communication, but not an age characterized by people of great spiritual depth.
Diligently managing our time is not simply about getting time to prepare sermons – a very pragmatic goal. It is about having the space to soak in a deep relationship with God, so that out of that depth, we might offer to others the blessing of profound preaching and ministry. I wonder if the next couple of weeks are a good time for us to prayerfully take stock of the time challenges in our ministry. Perhaps some changes need to be made. Perhaps some boundaries need to be installed. Perhaps our hunger for the things that really matter needs to be cultivated afresh.
What have you found to be helpful in terms of managing your time as a preacher?