I get asked the same question every day. It may be a text or a snapchat or a real time sentence spoken from from a friend. People want to know.
How are things going?
What are you doing tonight?
What’s the plan?
Are we doing something later?
Check your texts.
You’ve got a few don’t you?
I think there’s a good reason to ask about “doing”.
What you’re doing usually says a lot about what you care about.
And what you care about is usually what you’re going to give your time to.
So, when a friend asks, what are you doing tonight?
They are wanting to know what you care about, what you are needing to do,
and if there’s room in your life to care about what they are doing/ caring about/ needing to do. And usually, they would like for you to join them.
I would say–in the many roles we have in ministry–it’s easy to get sidetracked by things–
all sorts of asks. It’s not that they’re not important. Because they might be. But there are some things that may be more important for others than they are for you.
Nod you’re head if you’re tracking.
It’s easier to check an Instagram feed than to go to a kids school for lunch.
We’d rather send an email to our leaders (real quick) than to train a leader to lead leaders (takes time). Even though face-to-face relationships are a priority. Even though leaders are the heart of our youth ministry. We find ourselves exhausting our time and resources avoiding the things that are most important to the vision, strategy, or life of our work.
It’s great to figure this out. Even better to find a way to fix it.
Fixing it means accepting a new way and abandoning an old way.
The default way that leads to distracted leadership can be summed up in a word: DELAY.
We have to make a decision to change from delaying what’s important to doing what’s important.
Instead of delaying that phone call.
We do it. We pick up the phone and commit to getting it done.
Instead of delaying the planning of the next quarter calendar–we map out the calendar. We put the time into making it happen. It isn’t a course in astro physics. It’s more like a basic understanding of cause and effect relationships. I’m pretty sure my teacher in the third grade explained it well. There are many moments in the life/ work flow that I need the reminder that things get done when we put effort into doing them. Crazy to think that I’d forget something like that, but I do.
That’s why I’m not saying it’s easy. But I am saying it can be done.
I replace the temptation to delay what I do, with a commitment to do what I do.
I set goals every day.
If you know why you do what you do.
Then you’ll want to do what you need to get done to do it.
Maybe backing up to answer the “why” will help you with the desire that makes doing possible.
I picked up something from Donald Miller’s storyline productivity schedule that is helping me do this at this point in my journey. It’s a question that I ask myself right away, every day, before my feet hit the floor in the morning, “if I could live today over again, I would….”
Asking that question at the beginning of the day helps me decide to do the things that I might be tempted to delay.
I will spend time on the floor with my kids.
I will take care of that project that matters to me.
I will finish painting my child’s bedroom.
I will rest and reward myself.
I will make that decision that I’ve been putting off.
I will go for a walk.
I will Instagram things that I like, not things that I think other people will like.
We can change the way we work by deciding to DO what needs to be DONE.
Let’s start today.
Let’s abandon delay.
“Whatever your task, put yourself into it, as it’s DONE for the Lord and not for any other…” *Colossians 3:23