From time to time, the executive director of Special Gathering still must sit me down and say, “Pace yourself.”  Twenty years ago, when I first came on board with Special Gathering, he sat me down almost monthly for our “pace yourself” conversation.  Thankfully, it’s currently an annual event.  That may be because we don’t see each other as often but I hope it’s because I’ve learned a few things over the years. 

I do believe that people who endeavor big things for God are often entangled in their own web of over activity.  Success brings the need for more.  However, failure cannot be tolerated within our Christian mind-set.  Failure can be a wicked slave master that keeps a ministry head awake planning and devising new ideas and techniques that will bring that elusive success.

Pacing yourself successfully comes from several Christian disciples.  Dave Ramsey recently quoted someone on his radio show.  “Discipline is remembering and working toward the thing you want.”  As Christ’s followers, our greatest desire must be to worship God in everything that we do and say.  Simple things work best in regard to discipline.

  1. Eliminate stress.  All the books and articles written about stress tell us that we must unclutter our lives in order to eliminate stress.  Throw away, clean up and give away everything that isn’t essential.  Stress will vanish like the wind.  Have an annual purging event in your office and your home. 
  2. Set aside a time in your day or week to accomplish the necessary items in your ministry.  Do bookkeeping on Friday. 
  3. Weekly mundane tasks should be accomplished first thing on Monday, etc.
  4. Schedule your time wisely.  Make a calendar and keep it up to date.
  5. Schedule time for interaction with your family and spouse.  Don’t take for granted that they are a priority.  Scheduling time for them is a must.  My son calls me, at least two times each week.  On his way home from work, he knows that I’m available.  He puts in his blue tooth and we chat away.  It is a priority for him and I appreciate his attention and concern.
  6. Search out and minimize the things that chew up your time and energy.  Talking on the phone, playing computer games, or Facebook may use more time than you have to spare.  Most things that we allow to eat up our time must be done for our mental and emotional well-being but they must not have any control over our lives.
  7. Don’t allow ministry assets to become a liability.  Eating lunch and fellowshiping with members, staff or other pastors are a necessity but we must guard that they aren’t gobbling up precious hours of time.
  8. Ask God for wisdom with your schedule.  James tells us that God will give us wisdom if we ask him and he won’t fuss at us for asking.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

This week I didn’t schedule my time well.  I put into my calendar two things which were unwise.  This has left me tired and I find the tasks I need to do out pacing my energy.  This is always a large warning sign that tells us to BEWARE.