Tag: Priorities (home)

No time for your health today; no health for your time tomorrow. -Irish Proverb

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Exercise, Priorities

No time for your health today; no health for your time tomorrow.

permalink source: Irish proverb
tags: Exercise, Time Management, Priorities

"The church is near, but the road is icy. The bar is far, but we will walk carefully."

permalink source: Russian Proverb
tags: Desire, Priorities

As part of an assignment, one seventh-grade class was asked: What would you wish for if you could have one wish come true? One student wrote, "If I could have one wish, I'd choose world peace. And if somebody already chose that, I'd wish for a boyfriend."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Priorities

A new MBA grad was very ineffective in his first job. He just couldn't seem to make any sales One day his boss walks in and says, "I'm giving you a raise." The MBA grad is stunned. "When does it become effective?" "As soon as you do. That's what I want to talk to you about today. Hold out your hands." The boss dumped ten marbles into the man's open hands. "I want you to start every day and put these ten marbles in your right coat pocket. Whenever you visit a prospective client, move one marble to your left coat pocket whether the meeting went well or not. Whenever you have all ten in your left pocket, come back to the office to do your paperwork, and then go home even if it's just 3pm. You know a lot of stuff, but you're neglecting the basics. Move the marbles from one pocket to the other and you'll get your raise soon enough."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipline, Priorities

From Clutter to Order "At least 60% of the papers piled on your desk no longer have any value or meaning. They've piled up because you were lazy. Instead of deciding what should be done with them, you've just put them in a pile."-Jeffrey J. Mayer ARE YOU A PILER? TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR DESK... WHAT DO YOU SEE? BETTER YET... WHAT CAN'T YOU SEE? A cluttered office creates a cluttered desk, which creates a cluttered to-do list and, eventually, cluttered thinking. Cluttered ministry priorities will follow. Many times a cluttered desk is allowed because of fear -- fear that if things are out of sight, they're out of mind. We hesitate to put things away because we're afraid we'll forget them or never find them again. If you're a piler, you recognize that as the piles grow, it becomes more difficult to separate the important from the unimportant. It's almost impossible to decide what to do first. The past few Leaders Edge Articles have dealt with effectiveness. This month I'm dealing with just one area of efficiency, recognizing that if it is practiced regularly, it will lead to better stewardship of time, which eventually leads to greater effectiveness. When you arrive at the office and have piles of paper on your desk: You don't know where to begin. You see a piece of paper while looking for something else within the pile and are distracted for several minutes. You see so many choices that seem to be important that you become paralyzed. You waste valuable time and energy on trivia, and when you're finished, the important work is still buried in a pile. The real issue is not whether your desk is clean or messy. The real issue is stewardship of time and money -- the quality of your work and the length of time to complete it. Creating Order Out Of Disorder Set a goal. Decide to change. Block out two hours of your time. Allow no interruptions. GET ORGANIZED! STEPS FOR DEVELOPING AN ORGANIZED, CLEAN DESK 1Look at each piece of paper on your desk and make an immediate decision to keep it or throw it. Throw it if you can. You have just transferred all those piles of files into just one stack of papers. 2Create a master list; choose a large piece of lined paper. Don't use small pieces of paper. Some people only move from piles of files to piles of little pieces of paper. Your master list will now become your inventory of unfinished work and ongoing projects. You have automatically created a new follow-up system, one based on a list instead of a pile. 3Prioritize your list. Place a "1" by all critical and strategic items that must be completed first. Then place a "2" on all of the next important items. Put a "3" on all the remaining items on your list. 4Develop a filing system that is simple and very near your desk. Here are some special files that will help clear your desk and give you immediate access to important information. TICKLER FILE: Get forty-five file folders. Number the first thirty-one of them 1 through 31, for the days of the month. Label the next twelve by the months of the year. Take the final two and label them 2001 and 2002. PROJECT/EVENT FILE: If you're responsible for a project or ministry event, create a sectioned folder for the event. Keep the promotion in one section, the correspondence with speakers and musicians in another section, the contracts for the hall or banquet facility in another section, etc. DICTATION FILE: If you're unable to answer a letter the same day you received it, make sure you place it in your correspondence (dictation) file so it won't get lost. You will always know where to find the letters that need answering. Set at least a weekly appointment with this file. READ FILE: When you receive a report, meeting minutes, or a magazine you desire to read but can't deal with immediately, place it in your read file. Whenever possible, keep your read file in your briefcase at all times. You will find yourself taking full advantage of any down time. STAFF FILES: You may desire a file for each staff person directly responsible to you. If one of your staff gives you a letter or report, it's important to them. Reviews and job descriptions of your people should always be at your fingertips. BOARD FILE: Let me encourage you to have at least a three-section folder for three separate Board files. One should be for regular Board minutes, action sheets and meeting information. A second section or file should be for materials that relate to the business of your Executive Committee, and the third section or file should be for items pertaining to the Board Chairperson only. The purpose of this system is to liberate you as a ministry leader to do your most creative work. An organized desk will free you up, not tie you down. It will empower you, not control you. An organized, efficient desk saves both time and money. Fewer things will slip through the cracks. You'll be able to stay on top of your unfinished work, locate your papers and files within seconds, and become more productive. You'll look forward to coming to work in the morning, and you'll probably get home earlier in the evening. You'll no doubt feel better about your role, and you'll for sure feel better about yourself.

permalink source: Leader's Edge (Emerging Young Leaders Fall 2000) by Dick Wynn
tags: Time Management, Priorities

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: You'll Get More When You Ask For Less - Dr. Dan Reiland ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: "What? What do you mean, 'You'll get more when you ask for less'?! That flies in the face of all that we know about the 'big ask' and challenging people to big dreams!" This was the response of a pastor when I offered a different, more intentional and strategic approach to getting commitment from his congregation. His name is Michael (name changed), a pastor in Pennsylvania who is frustrated because of the perceived low commitment level of his congregation. Michael said to me over and over, "It's a struggle to get them to show up, let alone participate." Knowing that Michael is not alone, I'm writing this month on commitment with some observations, thoughts, and experience that I trust will be practical, helpful, and encouraging to you. The primary assumption in this article is that people are willing to make commitments. First, let me say that the idea of getting more when you ask for less has an exception. The exception is in the area of finance. When it comes to money, if you ask for less - that's what you'll get. Commitment is a frustrating area of ministry. And the 21st Century experience of time compression doesn't help. The "internet world" has increased our pace of life. Even your most committed leaders "bag" meetings because they are too busy. The majority of your congregation will give up to three "time blocks" a week to the church, but it's likely you are asking for more. Several problems arise from this scenario: 1. You dilute the significance of the important things by asking for "everything." 2. You unintentionally overwhelm the people, causing them to get frustrated or feel defeated. Their way of coping is to become inconsistent or choose to do nothing. 3. You lessen your own leadership by communicating a lack of focus and clear direction - also known as "program hopping." 4. The people think that "nothing really happens" at many of the things you want them to attend. (Hey, that's what they think so you need to embrace the reality!) This perceived lack of value causes them to rethink participating the next time. It is common for the leadership of the church to ask the congregation to attend a list of activities such as, but not limited to: (1.) Sunday morning church. (2.) Sunday night church. (3.) Wednesday night Bible study, prayer meeting or other church service. (4.) Participation in a ministry - with all that entails. (5.) Small group - sometimes two (a couples "home group" plus a men's or women's small group)! (6.) Sunday school class. (7.) Whatever special or seasonal event that's on the calendar. (8.) A meeting or two. (9.) Dropping their kids off at the youth activities. (10.) A special training class. (11.) And of course, inviting a friend. This condition of asking for too much puts your people in a physical and emotional gridlock. They literally throw up their hands (I've seen them do this in several churches as I conduct "focus groups"), and ask: "What is important here? What do they want?" Some church leaders argue that offering many options provides "more hooks for more people." I don't believe that works. There are always exceptions, such as with multiple worship services. That's a good thing - but you are only asking them to attend once and giving them a clear set of choices. When pushed to identify the "big three," pastors will usually say they want participation in: (1.) Sunday morning worship. (2.) Ministry. (3.) Small group (of any kind). Are there challenges to this? Of course, but we can't give up on this idea because there are challenges. The first, and perhaps largest, challenge is if discipleship is not taking place in your small groups, where does it happen? This is a topic for another issue of "The Pastor's Coach." My encouragement and challenge to you is this: 1. Gather as a leadership team and list all of the things you ask of your people in a given week and month. Talk about which of those things are directly connected to the process of life change and which are merely a "one more thing." 2. Face the reality of "the big three" principle and determine your priorities. Agree together that as a team you will ask your people for these things. 3. Don't get hung up on the number three as much as the principle of limited and intentional "asks." However, I would challenge you to find a few growing congregations that get the majority of their people to attend or participate in four or more things a week. Compare your church to theirs before you raise the number. The key word is "majority." We are not discussing your core leaders and the small percentage of people who will show up every time the doors are open - or when you promise free pie and coffee! 4. Determine which of your ministries and activities are not effective. What can be cut from your program? If they are ineffective but can't be cut, why not? A good way to make this determination is to measure the effectiveness of the ministry by its Great Commission "fruit" - changed lives. If it doesn't change lives, don't do it. The tough decision is based on the fact that there are many good and life-changing ministries that God is not calling you to do. They must be cut as well. 5. Give yourself permission to ask for attendance/participation beyond your selected priorities if the commitment is short-term and involves a select group of the congregation. For example, a Membership Class or a New Christian's Class involves a small percentage of your people and is a short-term commitment. Some churches, accidentally or intentionally, make headway on this issue because many of their people are involved in volunteer ministry, perhaps monthly instead of weekly. Another idea is to have the small groups meet only twice a month instead of every week. There are certainly many creative ways to approach this situation. My desire is to cause you to look at the "big idea" and go from there. Keep your eyes on the real goal. . . life change.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Organization, Priorities

In his Turning Point daily devotional on January 24, 2003, David Jeremiah observes, "New York's Joel Sherman is the world's new Scrabble Champion. Using words like vug and helicoid, he beat out Nigel Richards of New Zealand to take first place (and $25,000 in prize money) in last August's international competition. When asked the secret of his success, he simply replied, 'This is all I do.' Sherman, who hasn't held a regular job in ten years, spends all his time playing Scrabble. His life revolves around the board game, and he lives off the prize money he wins. "What does your life revolve around? Or, to put it differently, 'What is the chief and highest end of man?' The Westminster Larger Catechism answers: 'Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipline, Priorities

Environmental researchers from Oxford University recently made an astounding discovery. More than 33% of Earth's plant and animal species exist on a scant 1.4% of the planet's surface. They identified 25 "hot spots" covering a total of 810,000 square miles and were surprised by the "riot" of life they found occupying such a relatively small portion of land. As a result they suggested that conservationists use a "silver bullet" approach and concentrate on saving pieces of the hot spots from logging, slash and burn agriculture or other fates.

permalink source: From Off The Map - Jim Henderson
tags: Evangelism, Priorities, Missions

There's a problem in asking people to focus on problems.... probably the biggest problem we have in the world is that we all die, but we don't have the technology to solve that, right? So the point is not to prioritize problems, the point is to prioritize solutions to problems.

permalink source: Bjorn Lomborg, http://www.ted.com/tedtalks/tedtalksplayer.cfm?key=b_lomborg
tags: Solutions, Priorities

Don't Get Infatuated With The Exotic

<i>The prodigy must be reminded of the practical</i>, [Martemus] would often think. No matter how delectable the spices, one could not do without salt.

permalink source: R. Scott Bakker, The Warrior Prophet, p 241
tags: Priorities