An excellent use of our time is when we can combine the tasks that we need to be regularly engaging in for faithfulness in ministry as well as wisdom in living a healthy life. Every pastor will have different variations to list, but here are a few of mine:
Jogging/leadership development – I meet with a brother in my church who has signficant gifts for ministry and a growing fruitful ministry in our church who I jog with regularly. As we exercise, we discuss issues in his life, how he is caring for his wife, teaching and discipling his children, pursuing godliness in living, growth in the word, evangelistic endeavors, etc.
Lunch/discipleship – I find in the busyness of the day, I will often skip a meal or not take the time to eat well if I do not have it scheduled in my day, which is not good. I try to have lunch with different men in the church for the sake of fellowship, encouragement, and getting an update on their lives in general. I assume most pastors use their time well in this way.
Walking/ conflict resolution/ widow care – In the early years of the church there was a sweet widow who struggled with some of the decisions I was making in regard to the direction of the church. The short conversations we had at church in passing were not helping the situation. I found out that something she loved to do was to walk on an indoor track close to her home where she walked 15 miles a week, even into her eighties! Looking for other times to exercise, I started walking with her and my effort communicated a love to her that caused her to began to open up and talk about the changes at church with a more open mind. It also increased her trust in me to care for her in other ways as a widow in our church, which has only grown over the years.
Breakfast/ evangelism – I realized on Saturday I thought better and prepared more effectively for Sunday after eating a good breakfast in the morning. I started meeting with non-Christians I had built a relationship with for breakfast on Saturday morning. I found God also brought to my mind those non-Christians who might attend Sunday and God used that in my preparation time on Saturday to preach the gospel.
Wii/ new member care – Once I received word that one of our newer elderly members bought a Wii and started playing to add some activity in their life, I had to see it for myself. I must acknowledge, the Wii is not a “needed task” in my life as a pastor, however, cultivating humility is, which is exactly what happened when I got schooled in Wii golf by a seventy year old man. We had a great time and my relationship with this man and his wife has been better than ever.
We need to eat…healthy. We need to exercise…regularly. We are shepherds, evangelists, leaders, peacemakers, and disciplers. Be creative and look for ways you can combine these tasks and be a faithful steward of your time.