When I began thinking about my trip to Montana in May, I looked at the schedule for the two meetings I would attend (back to back without a break in the middle). One began Monday at 1:00 PM and the other ended Friday at Noon. I realized there would be two free blocks of time in the middle (Tuesday and Thursday afternoon). But I also realized that Yellowstone National Park was big. I assumed I would need time after the meetings to be able to see more of it (and it was needed).
That thinking impacted my airline reservation search. I had to decide which airport to fly into. There were many choices with none that were convenient and affordable. Having been to Montana back in 1995, I knew about the beauty of the area within an hour of Billings. I found flights into Billings were much more affordable and rental cars were as well. I decided to drive 3.5 hours each way from Billings to West Yellowstone where our meetings would be held. Those decisions then impacted the dates and places for hotel reservations.
Why am I telling you a travel story? It has to do with scheduling our time for what we want/need to do. If I had not taken a long, hard look and scheduled to allow some sightseeing time, I would have missed a lot of Yellowstone! This took scheduling and planning.
As a person, disciple, and Sunday School leader, who is in charge of your schedule? Each of us can allow others to determine our schedule, or we can take charge of it (or better yet, give God control of our schedule). Yes, I know that some of it is out of our control, but frequently much of it is out of our control because we exert no control. In my experience, work always expands to fill up all of the allotted time PLUS some.
Consider some of these suggestions for how to make wise use of your time:
PERSON. What do you most want/need to accomplish? Determine your priorities. Schedule your time accordingly. You may be saying that you don’t have time to do so. My response is simple: you can’t afford not to do so! Take time at the beginning of each week to write down what needs to be done. Then number them in order of priority. Which is most important? Which must be done before others on the list? Are there any deadlines? Each of those questions impact the priority. Then, schedule each of those tasks in a way throughout the week that it is possible to accomplish the list. Don’t forget time with family. Don’t forget time with God!
DISCIPLE. Plan to grow as the disciple that our Lord desires you to be. Spend time daily in His Word and in prayer. Consider praying through scripture (check out Teaching Sunday School Members to Pray Through Scripture). Schedule your quiet time daily–otherwise other pressing matters will crowd out all available time. Grow in spiritual disciplines (check out Sunday School Supporting Spiritual Disciplines, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). Apply what He teaches you. Keep a spiritual journal. Enlist an accountability partner. Determine the best plan for your growth as a disciple and schedule it!
SUNDAY SCHOOL LEADER. There are so many tasks of a Sunday School leader. Again, write them down (check out There’s Just Not Enough Time: How Can a Sunday School Teacher Do It All?, Revolutionary Sunday School Teacher Skills, The Many Hats of the Sunday School Director, Measures of an Effective Sunday School Director, What Does It Take for a Revolutionary Director to Lead the Sunday School?, and What Does a Revolutionary Director Do on Sunday Morning?), Prioritize. Schedule them. Delegate what you can delegate. Enlist help. Schedule time to grow/learn. Spend time with other Sunday School leaders. Apprentice someone. Your effective leadership demands this.
Want to become more effective in the year ahead? Begin now to make plans to address your use of time. Pray for God’s leadership and help. Seek and enlist an accountability partner. Take time to list tasks and to prioritize. Be intentional as a person, disciple, and Sunday School leader in your use of your time! Be revolutionary!