Section 6

The Leaders Goal (Part 2)

Section 6
The Leaders Goal (Part 2)

The Leader and Time
J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership, Chapter 12

"Lifes value is not in its duration but its donation - not how long we live but how fully and how well"
William James

The quality of a persons leadership will, in part, be measured by time: its use and passage. The character or career of a young person depends on how they spend spare time
J Oswald Sanders

Much of your use of time is scheduled for you - classes, appointments, etc. The real issue is what you do with time that is not prescribed with regard to its use. Leisure is a glorious opportunity and a subtle danger. Do you believe that each moment of the day is a gift from God - one that deserves care in its use?

Michelangelo was pressing hard to complete a piece of work. A person commented to him, “This may cost you your life,” To which he replied, “What else is life for?”

Minutes and hours used wisely translate into an abundant life.

Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Moses shows it is in the use of days not years that wisdom comes. Saying you do not have the time is the refuge of the small minded and inefficient - a leader always has time for the will of God for their lives. Someone once said “if you want a job doing then ask a busy man”

The problem you have is not a lack of time - simply put, your problem is making the best use of your time. You may have different ability, money or influence - but you have the same time as the most powerful, or the most stupid, person you know.

Lk 19:12- 27 - the parable of the minas - each had different money but the same time - you have differing gifts, but the same time - you are responsible for your own faithfulness in using what the Lord has given you. Looking at your time do you think you are getting a ten fold return?

Eph 5:16 TM, NIV, KJV Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. ...making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Redeeming - buying back - time is an item with buying power - time cannot be “collected” it can only be spent wisely.

Time lost can never be bought back time lost has gone forever

As a result leaders have to be careful with time - select the right things to do, prioritise properly, choose what is essential to do select, reject and then concentrate on the most important things each day.

Assignment Consider how you use your time - make a timetable for As a result leaders have to be careful with time - select the right the next week, divide the things to do, prioritise properly, days into 1/4 hour (15 choose what is essential to do minute) and then concentrate select, rejectsegments - then fill on the most important things each in it in as each day passes day. the light of this consider if you have used your time wisely.

Mary Slessor was the daughter of a drunkard who worked in a factory from age 11 (from 0600 to 1800 each day) - yet she still educated herself and had a notable career in Christian service. She was a missionary in Nigeria - for a short biography go here: http:// missions/bioslessor.html

David Livingstone as a 10 year old worked 14 hours each day in a cotton factory - by the age of 27 he was qualified in medicine and in theology He was a Scottish missionary, doctor and explorer who helped open the heart of Africa to missions. His travels covered one-third of the continent, from the Cape to near the Equator, and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. See here for more details: http:// biography/biorplivingstone.html

Jesus is a wonderful example of how to live life - he had a confidence in the plan of the Father and so was never hurried (or surprised) by what came before him. Jn 14:10 The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Jn 7:6, 12:23, 27, 13:1, 17:1 Jn 2:4 - aware of God’s timing - and not changing his schedule as he was aware if the Fathers hand upon him and Lazarus (11: 1-6)

Jesus had the same 24 hours each day that you and I have - he used his to the full and accomplished all the Father wanted him to - do you? Jesus did the things that mattered in life - those things that were vital - do you? Can you think of any example in the Gospels where Jesus appeared to be hurried and out of control? At times there was barely time to eat yet he never failed in accomplishing the Father’s will.

Often leaders are pressurised because they are doing things the Father has not assigned to them.
Do you look for God in the interruptions of life?

What of people who just drop in Sanders tells the story of a man who decided with each person who dropped by for a chat, the man decided that he would invite them to pray and ask God why he had brought them there at that time - if God revealed something then they dealt with it, if not the meeting was short but sweet as they realised God had something else in mind. If an interruption is from the Lord he will reveal his plan in it!

Eph 2:10 - good works planned in advance Such plans are discovered in intimacy with the Lord. John Wesley and FB Meyer divided their days into 45 minute sections and then would try to make each section count. Meyer took each opportunity where, even in company, his attention was not required to be profitable doing something else.

Writing of his dad, W.E. Sangster, Paul says this: “Time was never wasted. The difference between one minute and two was of considerable consequence to him. He would appear from his study. ‘My boy, you’re not doing anything. I have exactly twenty–two minutes. We’ll go for a walk. We can walk right around the common in that time.’ He then hurtled out of the house at tremendous speed and I normally had to run to catch up. He would then discourse on current affairs (5 mins), Surrey’s prospects in the country championship (2 mins), the necessity of revival (5 mins), the reality of the Loch Ness monster (2 mins), and the sanctity of William Romaine (3 mins.). By that time we would be home again.”

A balanced approach to time is necessary in order to be effective. This means that prayerfulness at the start of the day is essential to become aware of the Lord’s will for the day. If your day is not in the grip of the Lord it will be at the will of all other powers, human and spiritual, God and the devil.

Procrastination is a major blockage to achieving all the Lord has called you to. Developing a habit of putting things off is disempowering to spiritual leadership. Natural man is reluctant to make decisions - but making decisions and acting on them requires moral energy, and time moving on rarely makes decisions easier. Do you make deadlines by which time a thing has to be done?

In which areas of life do you most need to feel the urgency and importance of using time well? How do you deal with procrastination in your life - how should you?

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