The last two years have been about the craziest years of my life. This last year, 2008, has been probably the busiest and most awesome year of PCC’s history. Needless to say, we are thriving and on an upwards swing. We are going to the next level. It almost couldn’t be any better at PCC right now – except for me. I realize that my schedule and time-management has gotten out of balance.
Things have been so busy for me with too much to do that I have worn myself thin. There is no way to sustain this pace any longer, so I have come to a decision.
I’ve seen a lot of church people crash and burn – pastors too. Many pastors are ineffective in their ministry because they are doing too much, aren’t taking care of themselves, and have not set up boundaries. They try to be supermen, attend every event, take every call, fix every problem, and counsel every crisis. In the process they end up burning out and losing touch with themselves and their families. I refuse to allow that to happen.
I thought I’d share with you some decisions I'm making in order to re-claim my life:
I’m admitting to myself that I am spread too thin. I don’t have to do it all, and won’t attempt to do so. Some things can be done without me. If we can’t find the volunteers or hire the staff to get it done, it will simply go undone.
I’m maintaining regular exercise. I sleep better, feel better, have more energy, and think more clearly when I’m in top shape. I’m in good shape now, but it could be better. I’m sticking with it and taking it up a notch. Besides, America already has enough fat preachers with heart disease who live short lives.
I’m protecting my Bible time and prayer with ferocity. It’s easy to allow other things in my schedule to crowd this one out and I have to fight hard against it. Most of you know I maintain a prayer journal where I record my prayer requests or reflections from the scriptures – and what this does to strengthen me I cannot fully express. But there is a constant tension between my quiet time and office duties, phone calls, mini-emergencies with people, and a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done. It’s like a conspiracy of interruptions. If I have to get out of the office and go to the woods, then I will!
I need a personal assistant – Someone who will manage my schedule, take my calls, schedule appointments, run interference for me, and manage my e-mails. There is so much going on at PCC right now that I’m getting lost and drowning in the details. I’m a “big picture” kind of person and don’t have the time to micro manage.
I’m going to be saying “no” more often without feeling guilty for saying it. This is a matter of priorities. By saying “no” to some things I am saying a “bigger yes” to other things. I can’t approve every idea that’s suggested, say yes to every request, meet every expectation, answer every phone call, respond to every crisis, or answer every question that comes into our offices. As much as I hate it, I cannot personally connect to every person that attends PCC. I would love to accept every invitation, enter every persons home, and be at every birthday party. But I can’t. Between leading our staff, preparing messages each week, planning the weekend services, plus being a husband and father, my time is limited. This is EXACTLY WHY everyone at PCC needs to get plugged into a small group or ministry team so that you can have key connections.
I’m going to limit my evenings out at church-related events. Okay, I’m a firm believer that the most healthy thing a Christian can do is attend about two church-related events per week – those being the weekend services and a mid-week event (such as a small group, etc) – with an occasional extra meeting thrown in because of necessity. Two time slots is a healthy amount. But I’m doing about 5-6 church-related events each week in the evenings and it’s too much. I’m going to be paring back on the number of events I attend, maintaining a healthy limit. So don’t be offended if I don’t show up at your event – trust me, there are thirty-five others going on at the same time and I won’t be at theirs either.
It’s amazing how a few changes like this is empowering me to re-claim my life and get in touch with a person I left behind….. myself.
Comments are open....