How do you decide to do something or not? Should I go to a meeting? Should I go on a trip? Should I serve on a board? Is your decision based on how you feel at the moment, or is there a reason for your answer? I find most people do not know how to say “no” to unnecessary things because they have not discovered what to say “yes” to. How should we spend our time, since time is really valuable and there is only 24 hours in one day?
1. Discover your assignment
What is your purpose? What has God uniquely called you to accomplish right now in your life? Most of us bog down right here. Before we can plan our day we must discover the plan for our day. My assignment is to love Pam, be a dad to Abram and Callie and to lead New Life Church. These three are priorities and get the first and the best of my time. I am writing a book and I am praying about serving on the board for a national ministry, but neither can interfere with my primary assignments.
2. Say “yes” to your assignment
When our assignment is clear, our schedule should reflect our priorities. If marriage and children are primary, they will get a lot of our time. Then I say “yes” to anything that is strategic at work. For me, I must have time to study and pray because I speak and teach every week. That time is set aside in the mornings. In the afternoons, I have meetings with pastors, leaders and elders. I also have time set aside during the week to meet with members of New Life and I have time set aside to meet with other pastors and leaders in the city. Also, I have time set aside to rest and enjoy the Sabbath. If we do not prioritize our schedule, the strategic things that we should be doing will be choked by meetings that are not necessary in the first place.
3. Say “no” to distractions
I say “no” to some meetings for one of these three reasons:
a. If they are not strategic or do not build key relationships. I love all the people at New Life, but most of my time is spent with established leaders or emerging leaders.
b. If guilt is a motivator. If I am saying “yes” to a meeting because I will feel guilty for not attending, I say “no” and get over the false guilt later.
c. If fear of man is a motivator. People expect me to attend everything and I simply cannot, even if it means that people will be upset or disappointed.
September 23, 2009 at 6:32 am
I am Dennis Terry’s wife, Diana. This was an awesome find for me today. You might call it a nuget! 🙂 God is truly amazing! He speaks to us at times in a way we wouldn’t dream possible. Thank you for writing “When Should We Say “Yes” It really spoke to me this morning.
I get Gateway emails and saw Pastor Robert Morris’ announcement that he is now on Twitter. In following that I clicked on your blog……if you seek you shall find that precious word you need for the day from your Father, 🙂 full of His wisdom and knowledge!
September 23, 2009 at 7:10 am
Brady! Thank you for the influence from afar. This wisdom is my mantra and just in the nick of time (sounds like Him, huh?) I needed reminding this is biblical and right as I face a trilogogy of trials with relationships in dire health crisis. I am called to be a wife, a step mother, and an influencer as an executive in business. I get to hire His chosen and teach His unchurched about character and leadership… An honor but not my first priority. Canceling time with my new leaders was right this week – and I needed this confirmation today to build on foundations in my inner circle first and stop trying to find creative ways to avoid the pain by distracting myself with a “good cause”. God provided a way for me to rest, focus and still be there on Friday to inject a message of accountabilty and hope on Friday and plant seeds to 100 that only God can water but its God’s meassage no matter the venue. I love it. Adore Him for being a gentleman to me and thank you for using technology for the better. God bless you… Today and always
September 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm
I’d also suggest that spending sufficient time “face-to-face” with the King (in the midst of whichever spiritual disciplines “get” us there,) will allow us to hear His “marching orders” for the day.
In the same way that we might meet with our earthly boss in the morning prior to the busyness of the day setting in, hearing what he/she has for us to do that day, so also will meeting with our heavenly “Boss” (a) fill our to-do list and (b) make us more and more sensitive to His heart to such a degree that we begin to “think His thoughts” alongside Him 🙂
The person of the Holy Spirit as daily Taskmaster of love and grace … what a way to live 🙂
September 28, 2009 at 11:46 am
I stumbled upon this today and what great insight! As God is calling me to do more for His kingdom, I struggle with being overwhelmed with all that I “think” I need to do and trying to cram as much as possible into my schedule. This post is truly jam-packed full of wisdom! Thank you for sharing your heart.