Take Time to Plan

Thinking is a lost art in Christian leadership. We’d much rather let someone else do our thinking for us. We prefer to go to the Internet and “borrow” everyone else’s material. We read and copy what the best Christian authors say about God’s Word rather than take time to study it for ourselves.

That’s what the Pharisees did. Instead of studying the Torah, they consulted the Talmud, the Mishnah, or the Midrash, which are commentaries of rabbinical teachings. They believed they weren’t holy enough to go straight to God, so they accepted what others, who they believed were holier than they were, had to say. The Pharisees trusted the authors of these commentaries to tell them how to obey God’s commands. The result was that the Pharisees followed the teachings of others instead of reading the Scriptures for themselves.

Many of us are 21st century Pharisees. We don’t read the naked, raw Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit mentor us, We go to the Internet or commentaries and let others teach us. Why do we do this when we are allowed in the very throne room of the King?

The Bible says we can have His confidence that we can draw near to Him and find grace to help in times of need:

’Please come and think with me, or reason with me,’ saith the Lord. (Isaiah 1:18, my paraphrase).

And I will reveal to you things that eye has not seen nor ear heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has promised for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

The only way the Spirit of God can talk to you is if you confer with Him. You have to sit before the Lord and take time to plan. When you do, God will show you areas where you are lacking, activities you need to drop, places that need attention, and sins you need to repent. Without His instructions, how can you navigate without a compass?

I suggest you take a whole day and say to your staff, “I am going to sit under a tree for a while and think.” Take time to plan out your sermons. Take time to plan out what’s happening in the church. Just take time to plan.

And write it down. I take my journal with me and write what the Lord’s saying. Evaluate where you are. “I feel good about this area. On a scale of one to ten, I’d say my family is about a 7.5. Lord, in the area of the church, I think things are going well, but I do need to talk with so and so more. I need to deal with this area, don’t I, Lord?” Just start writing. You’ll be surprised. When you’re finished, you’ll have a plan and you’ll know exactly what you need to do. Taking time to plan will pay great dividends in your life and ministry in the days to come.

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