They have NOT: uncomplicated our lives; given us a sense that we have more time than before; made us essentially happier; increased our wealth; improved our relationships with one another; increased volunteerism in churches; given us more time for prayer; expanded the time we spend in Bible study; helped us to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
What have they done? They have forced clear-thinking Christians to creatively consider the rat-race of modern life, which someone has said, “Even if you win the rat-race, you’re still a rat.”
Life seems to be moving at a faster pace than ever. The promise to do business in “real time” has often left us with our heads spinning. For Christian churches, there has actually been an increase of those who respond, “I don’t have time.” It’s the answer Christians give when asked about worship attendance, Bible study, joining a small group, helping with Vacation Bible School, serving on the church board, attending a Christian conference, or mentoring another Christian (even, sadly, one’s own son or daughter).
The challenge of time is also an opportunity for Christians to step up in ministry to let God “redeem the time.”
Focus on these issues:
- Encourage your church to teach time management from the Christian perspective: every moment is a gift from God and an opportunity to be a good manager, to God’s glory.
- Teach your children (and other children of God) to make time-use choices based on biblical values, not habits, appetites, cultural influences, or peer pressure.
- As you plan your day (we all get 24 hours, no more, no less), do so in a “God consciousness” attitude of prayer.
- Live each day as though it is your last. One of these days, you’ll be right!
- Learn about and avoid time bandits: unplanned, repeated trips; certain television programs; some church meetings; etc.
- Practice the Sabbath: down time, one day in seven.
- Follow the biblical pattern, which is to work from rest, not rest from work (see the chapter on the “Rhythm of Life” from the book The Passionate Church by Mike Breen and Walt Kallestad).
- Help your church practice more “get-away block time.” These are retreats of one or two days, scheduled away from all the “time-saving devices,” to focus on what really counts.
- It’s about time: how to use it, not waste it, enjoy it, and invest it. As Christians, we have a lot to say…and practice. It’s about time!
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.