Monday, October 11, 2010

Impossibility of time management...

Let me guess… you don’t have enuff time. Well, get over it. I read Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership a million years ago and he put me in my place. He says that there is no such thing as time management. You cannot manage time, cause it never stops. What you do have control over is your priorities. So I ask, what are you priorities? I ask a lot from my ministry teams. I talk to so many youth leaders who say they don’t have enuff time to do this or that. They don’t prepare messages ahead of time (and use the “let the Spirit lead” excuse – which can work once in a great moon), or don’t give proper materials to staff prior to program days, don’t send out the proper communication, etc. All of this is justified in their minds with the terrible notion that they don’t have the time to do it all.

Here you go… quit. You are not cut out for ministry if you cannot prioritize and get stuff done. Your job is no harder than the volunteers who put in 40+ hours into their secular jobs a week, run a family, do extracurricular stuff… and then put an additional 10-15 hours a week into serving on your staff. So, don’t insult their intelligence. Get your priorities straight and get it done. If you don’t work out of a calendar, then that is a good start. Cobb always had his stuff down to the minute. I heard Hybel’s give a talk on the same subject and said that a calendar is a must for pastors.

You are not the special case. Bill Gates has twenty-four hours in a day… and so do you. The thing is, he gets a lot more done than most of us. Figure out what you have to do to maximize your time. You will be amazed how much time you have when you write it all down. And then there is no hiding behind the fact that you watch Dancing with the Stars way too much. You will learn to cut stuff out of your life that is insignificant. Ask someone you trust to look at your calendar – they will tell you where you can trim the fat. And then you will see the changes in your time, ministry, and stress level.

Follow your mentor...

I do a lot of talking to churches and other ministries about how to do stuff. I have pretty good handle on what is right and wrong in a ministry. And it is not that I think that I can do ministry better than others, because I am far from the best. But I have to say that the ministry that I have learned is pretty good. It is not of my own doing. It is all from the peeps who have taught me. About halfway through most of my conversations with pastors and youth leaders, the same question arises… “Who is this Kevin Cobb guy?” inevitably, I have to laugh.

Well, he is the guy who has taught me everything about ministry. Why, cause he’s been doing ministry for his whole life. The guy is like Yoda. Most of my sentences begin with, “Well, Cobb taught me…” And it is true. Even today, just a few minutes of his time is all I really need to keep me on the ministry track. He knows stuff about me that I didn’t know about myself. He knows my heart when I do not. He is a mentor, still to this day, who guides most of my decisions in life – and especially my vocational ministry stuff.

So, who do you have? Recently, one of the guys I talk to about ministry asked a funny question. He was like, do you know anything from your own knowledge, or is it all from Cobb? And the best part about it, was the question was kind of supposed to be a dig at my lack of ability to lead. Awww, the young man will learn. I responded with my own question for him that went something like this, “Are you comfortable knowing that you don’t really know anything and that someone else, or a group of mentors, could teach you about ministry?” I’ll tell you this much… when you find out who you follow, then you are ready to be a leader. I am cool with knowing that I have stolen every single part of my ministry from Kev. Who do you look to for your ministry stuff?