Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Why It's OK to Steal in Ministry

Why It's OK to Steal in Ministry

I heard it first when I worked with John Maxwell: “Set yourself apart by stealing an hour a day.” In the almost 20 years since I head him say it, I’ve tried to make it a daily habit.

Full-time ministry makes a person busy.
Volunteer ministry makes a person really busy.
Part-time ministry (when you actually have two paying jobs!) makes a person insanely busy.

So how do you juggle the demands of any combination of the following? Junior-high ministry, a job, a marriage or relationship, raising decent kids, a school schedule, in-laws, a social life, extra-curriculuar interests/hobbies, the desire to speak, write or have additional kingdom impact and “X” (insert something important to you that I forgot)?

John Maxwell would say you start by stealing an hour a day. That’s it. Get up an hour early … or go to bed an hour late … or turn off the TV for an hour … or spend an hour less on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s simple math, really. If you were to steal an hour a day, six days a week you would steal 24 hours a month … MORE THAN HALF A WORK WEEK!

Here’s where it gets interesting: That adds up to 7.5, 40-hour work weeks per year … ALMOST TWO MONTHS OF EXTRA TIME!

What dreams might finally come true? What goals accomplished if you had two extra months each year to work on them?
– Write a book?
– Lose 10 pounds?
– Learn a second language?
– Stay up on current events around the world?
– Get summer camp planned well ahead of time?
– Grow … truly grow … in intimacy with the Father?
– Grow … truly grow … in intimacy with your wife, children or friends?

Very few things in life are free …or even easy. But very few things are as hard as they seem, either … especially if you are willing to start stealing!  

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kurtjohnston@churchleaders.com'
Kurt Johnston has been involved in junior high ministry since 1988 and is currently the junior high pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of Controlled Chaos: Making Sense of Junior High Ministry and Go Team! He loves providing resources for junior high ministry almost as much as he loves junior highers themselves.