In our fast-paced, get-it-done-now culture, the fact is that almost everyone on your team could use some help in increasing their personal productivity. This pace has only been accelerating because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in our lives.
The very nature of ministry often makes the “I’ve gotten something done today” feeling elusive. For many church leaders, there are no edges to their work – it’s not easy to tell when the work is finished, because it really never is. Most of your team have at least half a dozen things they are trying to achieve right now – today! And a pastoral need could arise at any moment to make that to-do list completely irrelevant.
Is it possible that our productivity could actually be increased by first slowing down?
THE QUICK SUMMARY – Every Day Matters: A Biblical Approach to Productivity by Brandon D. Crow
True productivity is less about getting things done; it is more concerned with stewarding priorities, time, and resources wisely and faithfully in a way that honors God. In Every Day Matters Brandon Crowe provides an accessible and biblical understanding of productivity filled with practical guidance and examples.
Crowe draws insights from wisdom literature and the life and teaching of the Apostle Paul to reclaim a biblical perspective on productivity. He shows the implications for matters such as setting priorities and goals, achieving rhythms of work and rest, caring for family, maintaining spiritual disciplines, sustaining energy, and engaging wisely with social media and entertainment.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
In the book of Genesis, we find the description of a seven-day week. On the first six of these days, God works. He begins by creating the universe, and as the week progresses, culminates His work of creation with man and woman.
As God’s week progressed, things got more complicated. After each of the first five days, God said, “Good.” After the pinnacle of his creation – Adam and Eve – God said, “Very good.”
But on the seventh day, God created the Sabbath, and whispered, “Holy.”
Up until this point, everything had been created out of nothing, but on the morning of the seventh day, God makes nothing out of something. Rest is brought into being.
The word Sabbath means “cease from working.” Resting one day a week by any name is holy – the point is to stop on that day and look for God.
Could it be that if we want to be our best, to be productive, we must do so from a day of rest?
To maintain an effective, productive lifestyle, you need rhythms of rest built into your schedule. Instead of working longer hours each day, you should aim to maximize your time devoted to working so that you have time to recover before the next day.Brandon D. Crowe
One of the great productivity myths is that you can accomplish more by working longer hours and cutting back on sleep. But sleep cannot be cheated. You need various kinds of rest:
- You need to get enough sleep each night.
- You need breaks while you are working.
- You need a weekly day of rest.
- It’s wise to take time for an extended period of rest on a yearly basis – a vacation.
In addition to sleep, you need recreation of down time in order to be refreshed. Not all rest, in other words, has to be sleeping. Sometimes resting from work means being alive in other ways. You need things to do when you’re not working that bring enjoyment, which ends up funneling into increased productivity when you are working. These are ways to decompress and unwind.
Despite your best intentions, you will not succeed in staying focused each day. You will fail. You will get distracted. Every day matters, but you will not be at your best every day. Do not be discouraged; each day is a new day, and each day is a new opportunity to move forward.
You should repent daily from your sins. This is not simply a matter of productivity, but a matter of pleasing God. You should constantly be examining your life to consider where you have sinned, and where you have sinned, you should repent and ask God to forgive you. A consistent review process will give you an opportunity to recognize and address negative habits.
You also need to consistently renew your commitment to the most important things. Resolve to grow each day. As you identify areas that need improvement, recommit yourself anew each day to your vision and priorities. Each day is a new day for you to live by your priorities and do those things you know need to be done.
Brandon D. Crow, Every Day Matters: A Biblical Approach to Productivity
A NEXT STEP
Author Brand Crowe developed the following action steps in the areas of Rest, Refresh, Repent, and Resolve. Set aside some time before the end of this week to review these, and resolve to begin implementing them next week.
- Track your sleep to determine how much sleep you need to function well.
- Determine what time you need to get up in the mornings for your personal routine, and resolve to go to bed sufficiently early to allow for your needed levels of sleep.
- Put away work related issues after your eventing shut-down rituals.
- Write down two to three activities you would like to do to provide refreshment. Begin to pursue these as you have opportunity.
- Resolve to take Sunday off from work to focus on worship and others.
Part of a regular series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader
During my elementary school years one of the things I looked forward to the most was the delivery of “My Weekly Reader,” a weekly educational magazine designed for children and containing news-based, current events.
It became a regular part of my love for reading, and helped develop my curiosity about the world around us.
Along with early and ongoing encouragement from my parents – especially my father – reading was established as a passion in my life that I was happy to continually learn from, share with my children, and watch them share with their children.
Reading keeps our minds alive and growing.