Attention to the Big Rocks
Labor Day often marks the start of a new season of ministry in our church congregations. With the launch of Sunday school and a shift “back” in worship times, it is a period to build energy and move full speed into a myriad of programs and events.
In these full days of September, I have at times wished for “8 days a week” or “if I could put time in a bottle” (dating myself). Stephen Covey, co-author of First Things First,
provides guidance for helping us build capacity to care for the most important things by paying attention to the BIG rocks first.
Look at your calendar from now until Christmas and mark down the most important events or happenings in the next three and half months, not just the urgent ones. These most important events are called “BIG ROCK” items or events. When I was growing up in upstate New York there were huge boulders in the middle of various farm fields and the farmer smartly plowed around them. When you schedule out your calendar, make certain that you plan for and around IMPORTANT personal events such as anniversaries, birthdays, etc. as well as church events and ministry happenings. Then consider steps you need to take to prepare for and plan for these important events. Schedule out time in your calendar for this as well.
Are there important practices you need to do almost every day? Does your calendar include time for important life givings, spiritual, mental and physical practicing each day such as time for devotion, prayer, exercise etc.? Covey says, “Sharpen your saw” and keep a healthy, balanced life to provide a platform for optimal engagement of work and play.
to watch a short video demonstration about The 7 Big Rocks
by Stephen Convey.
As you can see from the video, planning for your week around the BIG ROCK items provides you an overview and freedom to ensure the most important and urgent items are covered and you keep sharp.
In the book called Lead like Wesley
, by Mark L. Gorveatte, the discussion begins with a chapter called “LEAD Diligently” and in a section called “Redeeming the Time”, Gorveatte writes:
"John Wesley considered time management a serious responsibility and part of Christian Stewardship. He believed this so deeply that he wrote an entire sermon On Redeeming the Time (link to Wesley Sermon # 93)"
Gorveatte concludes the chapter with, “How we invest our time and energy is the most easily observed measure of what we believe matters most in our organization. Lead diligently!” (And I would add in our lives too…).
Caring for the BIG ROCKS is not only a responsibility. You will discover it also as a gift for yourself, your congregation, and your family. Savor the important items and plan for them. Make certain you plan for the fullness of your life besides just work. This type of planning allows for you to get more out of life.
Guest Writer: Pastor Brian Roberts, Cape Atlantic District Superintendent