At our monthly day of church planter training this past Tuesday, we were challenged to think of five things that only we, as pastor/planters, can do in our vocational context. The idea is that we are called to certain primary tasks, and that everything else should be delegated to others who are called to fulfill those tasks. The theme of the day was time managent, which we discovered really is life management. The point is that when I know my calling, and what my “main things” are, then I can know how to spend my time, fulfilling Ephesians 5:16, which commands us to “make the best use of the time.” The Greek word for time in that passage is not chronos, but kairos. This means that I am not to think of time in hours and days, but in purpose—not just how I spend my day, but in how I spend my life. And how I want to spend my life will inform how I spend my days.
As I reflected on the five main things that I am called to do and that should dominate my calendar, I came up with a list.
I am called:
- To clarify and communicate the vision and core commitments of the church (which requires reflection and prayer)
- To preach the gospel as the chief repenter (which requires study and teaching in both spoken and written word)
- To equip, mentor and disciple staff, key leaders and future elder/pastors (which requires time for discipleship and friendship)
- To nurture my marriage and my children (which requires attention and affection)
- To nurture myself (which requires attention to the means of grace, physical activity, intellectual pursuits, and being mentored/discipled)
Now, the challenge is to show integrity to these five, main things by making sure that my calendar really is filled up doing what I’ve been called to do, rather than what I have not been called to do—even if someone else thinks that I am. If I can keep these five before me, my life will begin to have a much greater focus, and potentially a much greater impact in the areas to which I have been called.
So, those are my five things. What are yours?