We frequently tell those in and outside of the sports ministry world the following: The job of a sports minister is the most logistically demanding job in the church. It makes sense right? In order to do the “ministry” you need to do the “sports”…and sports take time. It is just a reality of the job. It’s a reality though that can become dangerous. Gordon MacDonald says this:
“I am of the opinion that busyness is a deeper threat to the soul than pornography ever was.”
deeper threat to the soul than pornography ever was.”
In light of this, I wanted to offer everyone here some thoughts and resources so that you may struggle well with your busyness. First, some practical advice:
In a vineyard, the vine keeper knows that if a vine is not regularly pruned, new fruit will eventually begin to steal resources from the older, more mature, fruit-bearing parts of the vine. Over time, the unpruned vine will eventually succumb to systemic mediocrity because it simply can’t support that much fruit. There aren’t the resources available. The good fruit suffers in order to support the less mature fruit.
In the same way, it’s critical that we (both individuals and companies) get really good at “pruning” – learning to say “no” to opportunities and projects – that don’t align with the important work that we’re doing. This means passing on opportunities – even really good ones – in order to preserve the energy needed to bring our best effort to the work that we know we need to excel at.
Sit down once a month with your calendar and your projects list, and look for things that might be good ideas, but need to be pruned in order to give you more capacity to do your crucial work. This doesn’t mean that you’re saying no to them forever, it just means that you’re recognizing that you don’t have the bandwidth to do everything all the time. It’s not failure, it’s the first step toward success.
Here’s some more advice on your schedule from Bill Hybels
Bill, faced with more challenges than he could manage, began to search for a way to shorten his list of “priorities.” At the same time, he decided to shorten his time horizon. Rather than saying, “What should I focus on for the next year?” He said, “What should I focus on for the next 6 weeks?” As he admitted, he somewhat randomly chose the number 6. Nothing magic about it, he said it just felt manageable. So, as he described it, an experiment was taking shape.
Bill made a list of all the things he could focus on and decided to rank order the list. He used the following question:
What are the top six contributions I could make in the next six weeks?