Where is your time?
by Sean W. Corser
Pastor, there are few things in life that are certain. One of those rare certainties is that each day has 24 hours. There are 168 hours in a week, and just over 700 hours per month. That means that between sermon prep, trips to the hospital and the regular tasks, we must all find time for the priorities. What will you do with that time? Pastor, where are your priorities? Here are 4 areas of priority worthy of your time as a revitalization pastor.
Make time for personal devotion to the Lord.
Between all of your sermons and teaching times you might be misled to think that “you’re getting enough of Jesus.” Brother, your personal devotion to the Lord is your first priority. Let him grow your affections for him through his Word, grow in obedience through faith, and allow communication with God through prayer to be the first and most important conversation you have each day. As we see in Revelation, God has many good things to say about Ephesus. You, like the Ephesian church, may be filling your time with good things, good activities, but you have forgotten your first love. Do not let this aspect go unresolved.
Make time to pray for your congregation.
Often times we allow our members actions to affect the way we minister to them. Rather than loving them as one in need of a savior we react, and if you’re like me the reactions are often sinful. As a young man in ministry I remember a time where my absolute disdain for my congregation turned to hatred. I could tell my ministry was being affected, but it wasn’t until God, through his Spirit, drew me to pray. Until that time I had not known the people well, I was only operating off of a perception. Through prayer God allowed me to see my congregation as sheep without a shepherd, as sinful and fallen, and as those who needed the gospel and a sincere pastor to love them despite their shortcomings.
I have seen the power of praying for your congregation. It changed my heart, and it changed my ministry. Something so grand must become a priority. Allow God to change your heart and change your ministry through prayer.
Make time to mentor young men.
Pastor, not only is it important to raise up godly men from amongst your congregation, it is biblical. Paul instructs Timothy numerous times to instruct other men (2 Tim 2:2) or to wait in the city until elders have been raised up (Titus 1:5). What is stopping you from mentoring young men? If your answer is time, make this a priority. Your church will thank you for it, these men will thank you for it, and ultimately the church of Jesus Christ will be strengthened as more and more men are trained and equipped for ministry.
Make time to be in the community.
Pastor, your church is providentially placed where it is by our sovereign God. This time in history is not unforeseen by him. Chances are, the church has begun to decline due to a lack of visibility in the community. Spend time walking the streets, getting to know the people, and praying for the lost and how God will use your church and people in this community for his glory.
This, I’m sure is not new to you. You know what you should do, or what your priorities are yet the results remain the same. Your to-do list starts on Monday (or Tuesday) and you quickly lose ground. You begin to compromise on things that are important to complete the things that seemingly need to be resolved immediately.
Brother, determining your priorities will allow you, in that moment, to say no to the secondary and yes to the primary. These aspects are not exclusive to revitalization ministry, these are priorities for pastors in all contexts. And these primary concerns must be spending time in the community, mentoring young men, praying for your congregation, and spending time in personal devotion to the Lord.