Planning – Practical Pointers
When planning your future, and your calendar, consider the following:
- Plan to Work: Make a list of “things to do today.” Maintain a calendar or diary planning local and national church events. Purchase a diary and use it for planning. Plan your preaching schedule and your ministerial duties. Have a local, regional, and national church calendar that shows yearly events. Go the second mile, and formulate a quarterly calendar.
- Plan to Plan: Mark times in your calendar for personal planning and reflection. What are your goals for the quarter? What special events will you have at your local church this month, quarter or year? Have a regular planning session with your local church board and leadership team. If you are a national or regional official, have regular planning sessions on that scale. At the beginning of the day, week, month, or year you can plan out the various activities. Have a plan, and then work your plan!
- Plan to Rest: Take time to rest and reflect. God has planned for us to take a day of rest. Mark it into your calendar. One day per week should be for rest from work. Take advantage of your annual (vacation) leave. You will be refreshed when you return to your ministerial assignment.
- Plan to Study: Schedule time for daily personal Bible study and reading of other helpful books. Mark this into your daily or weekly planner. Schedule time for preparing for your messages of preaching and teaching. Consider taking time to attend professional seminars, conferences, etc. to improve your ministerial skills.
- Plan to be a Father and a Husband: Take time to be with your family. Have family devotions. Spend time with your wife. Treat her like the special lady she is. She is part of your ministry. Talk to your children about activities you can do together. Plan to attend their school and/or extracurricular (after school) functions.
- Plan to Pray and Fast: Determine daily prayer times. Fast each week. Take time out for an extended prayer and fasting on a regular basis. Plan for the growth of the spiritual man.
- Plan to Preach and Teach: Take time to plan your preaching schedule, and topics for teaching. Perhaps, next month will be designated as the month of evangelism, and so on. Perhaps, you need to teach a series of lessons on a given topic. Plan for it!
- Plan to Mentor: Take time to pass on truth and skills to the next generation. Set aside time to spend with those you are mentoring and preparing for the ministry. This ensures that your influence is expanded, and extended to long after you leave the scene.
- Plan to be Accountable: Every one is subject to the higher power. Plan to be accountable to others. Plan meetings for effective communication with your local church leadership team. Attend pastoral meetings, and show yourself submissive to those above you.
- Plan your Finances: Plan toward your retirement. Have an emergency savings plan; a small amount of money put aside for unforeseen circumstances.
- Plan for Exercise: The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Take care of it. Walk, jog, or do other forms of exercise on a regular basis.
- Plan to Communicate: Communication is important to organizational and personal success. Telephone, e-mail, and visit friends, ministerial associates, and hold meetings with church staff for the purpose of clear communication.
Based on, and expanded from the seven points mentioned in, Going the Distance: How to Stay Fit for a Lifetime of Ministry by Peter Brain, page 181-183.
by James G. Poitras