Buying Back Time

Do you have those weeks where you put in a whole bunch of ‘extra’ hours in ministry? Let’s face it, what is ‘extra’? The fact is that there is always more to do. More emails, more calls, more meetings, more planning, more messages to write, etc. 

Here’s how I define ‘extra’ in my life: 

Extra for me is when I can see that my walk with God and my time with family has been stretched through the week. Extra is when I know I did not see my wife and little girl for more than a few  hours each day for a two of three days in a row. For me that is how I gauge ‘extra’. I believe that there will always be more to do and my list can become endless if I am not careful. Whether you are single, married or your kids are out of the nest, you need to define for yourself what ‘extra’ looks like. 

‘Extra’ over time becomes ‘extreme’. In other words, it’s ok to have those seasons where it is busy and there are maybe some big events and trips to work on. However, extra become extreme when our times with God and family are stretched over a few weeks or months. When the extra times turn into the extreme, we spend less time with God and more time managing on our own strength. When extra turns into the extreme we spend less time with family and friends and the ones we love feel cheated by ministry. This is why I try to ‘buy back’ these times. 

For me, buying back time is about recognizing these seasons and embracing the busyness with a plan to spend good time with God and the family within that season. For example, I am in one of those seasons now. We are recruiting a new wave of volunteers and we are about to move into a new facility and change things up quite a bit. Therefore, after my last meeting at noon today, I intend to buy back time from my loaded schedule this week. 

What does this look like? Simply put, it is about being intentional to spend time with God and my family this afternoon and this evening. I was intentional about blocking time out this week to do so. I have nothing planned for Saturday and my whole day is centered around time with the family. 

This might not sound like rocket science, but I know how easy it is to justify working the whole day today and doing some more admin on Saturday morning. However, for me, it takes discipline to block out my schedule to ‘buy back’ what God and my family has ‘lost’ this week? 

On a final note: Does this mean that I completely neglected God and my family this week? Nope… just been a little busier doing the ‘extra’ stuff and I want to make sure that the extra stuff over time does not become the ‘extreme’…

How do you buy back time in your schedule? 

Phil <><

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2 Responses to Buying Back Time

  1. bj March 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Phil, did you write this just for me man? Thanks dude!

    • youthworktalk March 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

      Hey BJ,
      Actually, to be honest mate, I wrote that for me. To remind myself that I need to do that this week. If you guys get something out of it, great. I know I have to buy back time where I can. Have you read Andy Stanley’s book, ‘Choosing to Cheat’. Real good for this kind of stuff we are talking about….

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