In the past few weeks I’ve begun to spy procrastination at work in my life once again. It approached quietly, perhaps taking the opportunity to slink in alongside the ongoing nerve issues that have kept me from my usual systems and patterns of work. Or maybe it snuck in with all the travel I’ve been doing and the disruption and fatigue that comes with it. But one way or another I’ve been finding myself putting off until the future what I know I should do today. I’ve been deferring tasks, pushing deadlines, allowing projects to stretch on and on.
As pastors and churches invite people to follow Jesus, we also invite them to bring all of their brokenness into our community of faith. Jesus reconciles people to God, but he will not restore all that sin has stolen until he returns again. So until then, we serve people in their suffering. We voluntarily walk with them through the maze of their emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual challenges. Rather than viewing them as new recruits to serve our church goals, we eagerly join God’s redeeming work in their lives.
If you Google “time management hacks,” you will receive 1.4M search results, meaning you can spend the rest of your life reading about how to save time. If you are not familiar with the term, “time hacking” often refers to experimenting with your approach to life, schedules, and time management to ensure you are finding as much time as possible for what is most important. From rising early to using “time hacking tools,” advice abounds. Yet the sheer number of articles about “hacking your time” shows the hacks are not always helpful. If they were, why would we need more and more advice? So here are three reasons time hacks are not working.
God does have limitations – He can’t lie and He never has. I believe I once heard Dr. James Merritt say that God had another limitation – He can’t make a triangle with less than three sides (I believe I paraphrased his statement here). Returning to what I told the young man, I remember telling him that God had already made a rock so big He couldn’t lift it. The young man replied, “Then He can’t really be God.” I informed him that he might want to listen to how God had done this before drawing such a conclusion, at which point he listened curiously to what I told him.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
But Lucie Campbell was completely different. It’s a Title 1 school, which means it has high numbers of children from low-income families. (In fact, 95 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.) In 2015, only a quarter of them tested proficient in math and reading/language arts. As one of the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools, it had to either improve or be taken over by the state.
Houston’s principal, Jaron Carson, had a vision for the lower-performing, inner-city schools. He landed a job at Lucie Campbell and asked her to come along.
Hospitality is so important that Paul lists it as a qualification for pastoral leadership (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8). But it is still neglected. Some pastors are so diligent to “not bring ministry home with them” that they avoid practicing hospitality altogether.
Gospel-centered leaders should set the example of hospitality. By opening up our hearts and homes to others in hospitality, we experience fellowship within the Christian community (Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9), and we can do mercy ministry and evangelism toward those outside the Christian community (Luke 14:12).
A favorite from the archives:
Today is Family Day, a civic holiday allowing us to enjoy an extra day of family togetherness, in many parts of Canada. One of the ironies of Family Day, though, is how little “regular” time families actually get together, especially as increasingly the average family requires two (or more) incomes to survive.
I really feel for families in this situation. I know a lot of people for whom this is reality. They’ve got mortgages, car payments, student loans… Some of them are cool with it, others feel stuck.
When Emily and I got married, a big question we wrestled with was whether or not Emily would stay home with the kids or if she’d go back to work. We chose for her to stay home, knowing there would be a cost. So we went from a fairly decent two incomes to… less. Like a lot less.