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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Kurt Johnston
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.

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