Summary: You may not have all the time to do what you WANT to do, but you do have all the time to do what God NEEDS you to do.

Time Management Priorities

Living on Borrowed Time Series

NOTE: As people enter the Worship Center, each person is given a paper plate. In this message, we’re instructing everyone to write down what their life priorities are. Then when they are offered an opportunity to do something that costs them a considerable amount of time, they are to look at their paper plate of life priorities. If it doesn’t match up, then they can say, “I’m sorry, but my plate is already full.”


- Have you ever said: I don’t have time to do all that I want to do…Let me give you an encouraging word today…YOU’RE RIGHT.

o USA TODAY: Experts got together to find out how much time was needed to do all that a human being wants to do. (They surveyed and factored in time for how much time was needed for exercise, hygiene, work, commuting, household chores, eating, entertainment, spiritual development, and family time)

o When they added all those things together, they found that a human being needs 42 hours a day.

- If you are frustrated because you don’t have enough time to do what you need to do…Welcome to the human race.

- You may not have the time to do all that you WANT to do…but you do have enough time to do what you NEED to do.

o Because what you NEED to do is what God wants you to do…and if you capitalize on what you NEED to do…God will make sure you have the time to do it.

- ILLUS: Jesus was in ministry for only 3 years:

He had to revolutionize the meaning of the OT law.

He had to introduce the gospel (a message that was totally unique).

He had to change the 2000 year old mindset of the Jewish culture (They thought that a relationship with God was based on what you do)

He had to change the perspective of an entire world on sin, salvation, and spirituality.

He had to die for the sins of the world: past, present, and future.

He had to become the founder and the head of a brand new entity called the church

o John 17:4, “I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work that you have given me to do.”

o He may not have finished all the things he wanted to do…but he finished all the things God wanted him to do.

ILLUS: Spinning Plates – You can only focus on one at a time, and if you get too many you’re going to have plates crashing all over the place.

Look at your Plate you were given – as we go through this message, I want you to think about the priorities that you need to have in your life.

- We all have our plates full – but we need to make sure that we have our plates full with the most important things.

My Plate:

Build Leaders to Live on Mission for Christ

Redeem the Time with My Wife and Children

Amplify God’s Word through Preaching and Writing Resources

Navigate Church Health Systems and Church Growth Strategies

Disciple others to Become Disciple-Makers

Oversee Personal Growth and the fulfillment of God-given goals

Nurture a Deeper Walk with God

- When I first got started in ministry – I thought that great leaders were great at everything (that’s the perception you see in books, movies, etc.)

o And so I set about trying to turn my weaknesses into strengths.

o So really, for the first 10 years of my ministry – I tried to just get better at things that I’m not really good at.

o God revealed something powerful to me: My fully exploited strengths are of far greater value than my marginally improved weaknesses.

o Your weaknesses never become strengths because compared to your strengths they will always be weaknesses.

- We read in the book of Acts how the church was struggling to meet the needs of everyone in it’s growing congregation – the Apostles / Pastors were doing all the preaching and doing all the ministering.

- But then they appointed 7 men to be the deacons of the church – to handle the ministry care of the church – so that they could focus on the biggest priorities of their life (prayer, study in the Word, and teaching).

- When they did this (kept priorities) – the church started exploding in growth once again.

ILLUS: Recently, Lifeway Research asked 200 pastors to provide an hour-by-hour calendar of what they do each week. The study included 101 pastors whose churches were in the top 5 percent in conversion rates. The rest were pastors of churches that didn’t have high conversion rates.

What they found was fascinating. The pastors of high-growth churches spent most of their time in prayer, study, and teaching. (In fact, that’s similar to the description of the apostles’ ministry in Acts 6:4.) The other pastors were all over the board with their pastoral activities. Effective pastors focus their ministries on what’s most important.

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