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Timing is Everything

On a recent flight from Houston, I was looking at my boarding pass after takeoff. Just a few minutes before we departed, this paper was a great necessity to me; it provided my access to my seat on the plane. But now it had no further purpose. It had its important “time” of meaning.

In ministry, timing for strategy and idea innovation are essential to positively affecting the future. And yet so many “present time” responsibilities choke out leaders’ ability to spend time on those important things coming down the road.

As I coach leaders and offer assistance with both ministry plans and life plans, I am reminded that finding time to focus on the best use of time has become a challenge.

It’s hard to be thinking about fall initiatives when you are mired in the details and schedule of the Lenten season. And when fall does arrive, it is pedal to the metal until February or March. The summer barely allows you time to catch your breath.

I am always hopeful that reinvention and focused collaboration can occur in a timely way, but it is not always reality. As leaders, we love to dream, but struggle to find the margin to look forward! Timing is everything. Pray/fight for windows to effectively put your best into planning your future ministry ideas.  

Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Schedule time weekly or monthly to dream and strategize (just as you would for staff meetings or message planning).  If you don’t plan it, it won’t happen. Do it with your team or alone with God. 
  • Step away from your normal “planning” location. Find a fresh place to dream.
  • Develop an annual plan for time away (not a July breather) but a few days to consider the months or year ahead. Give yourself permission to do this.
  • Bring in a consultant or strategist to meet with you and/or your team to spend a day whiteboarding and dreaming for the future. Someone else guiding the discussion allows you the opportunity to fully engage in brainstorming with the team.

The TIME is now to think about…(fall, Christmas, and beyond)

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