Clues for Christian leaders – How to get more done
For leaders there’s always more to do than you can keep up with. Here’s some ideas for how to get more done but stay healthy!
1. Work harder. Yes, but there is a limit to this. There is a limit to your energy, your time, your family’s tolerance. There is a line you can cross where your life balance gets way out of whack and you and your relationships become unhealthy. There are some people who do need to work harder but most leaders I know need to slow down!
2. Multiply the workers. Whether they are volunteers or paid staff more can get done if you multiply the workers. To do that you have to motivate people to be involved – create a vision, then recruit and train. Create an organisational structure for people to work in*; then delegate, supervise, encourage and support them. This is the primary key to getting more done.
3. Work smarter. Manage your time well, set and keep to a daily and weekly structure planned in your diary. Get organised, plan ahead. E.g.: Have three 30 min slots in your daily dairy to answer your email and phone messages – at the beginning of the day, late morning and late afternoon. Unless there is a crisis or emergency do not constantly monitor and respond to emails and phone messages, manage them according to your dairy time table.
4. Use technology to work smarter for you not to control you. E.g.: If you have groups of people that have to be contacted regularly for meetings then create group mailing lists in your email. Store pro format’s and outlines, for agendas, notes, study and discussion outlines, programs, service orders, etc. so you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel.
5. If you have admin assistance then use that person to filter and handle basic enquiries and requests, do follow up phone calls, do basic info gathering, etc. After careful briefing delegate tasks to them that do not need your expertise but make sure you supervise and encourage them with daily contact.
(*This is the ‘scafolding’ that enables the construction of what you’re trying to build.)
There are healthy and unhealthy reasons why we want to get more done.
1. Ego, pride, we want to make a good impression on others.
2. Control and power over others.
3. Feeding an inner need – a parent’s expectations, insecurity, the need for success to prove yourself, etc.
1. To serve God and others and build the Kingdom.
2. Because you believe that when people embrace Christ they become what they were meant to be. When they find love and grace through Christ they are reconciled with God and can be reconciled with each other and can become more whole, happier and better people that can make a better society.
3. To equip, empower and release others into ministry
Why we sometimes lack motivation to get more done
1. Laziness, selfishness.
– The fear of more responsibility or more complexity
– The fear of failure
– The fear of things getting out of my control
3. Theological justifications:
– ‘Quietism’ – the idea that we should not take human initiative and action but waite on the Holy Spirits movement. “The Lords work is the Lords work.” While there is an element of truth in this it can be a justification for failure to obey the Lords clear commands, eg: “ …go and make disciple’s…”
– An unbalanced view of the Gospel that limits action to narrow categories.*
– A limited and narrow view of the church and its ministry that constrains activity to a few functions, like formal worship and pastoral care.
(* A balanced and wholeistic view of the Gospel has been expressed as “The whole Gospel for the whole person for the whole world.”)