By: Scott Sjoblom

School is back in session! That means we have a few short months before summer vacation. Because we know that reality, it’s easy to feel a tremendous pressure to try to squeeze 25 hours out of each day.

But is that really the best way to achieve “fruitful and sustainable ministry?”

If you keep that pace for the remainder of the school year I’m sure you’ll be FINE.

Freaked out




Instead, let’s adopt a different approach and take a few steps to help us maintain some balance in our life and ministry throughout the coming year.

Say No

If you find yourself continually running a day late and dollar short chances are you have a margin problem. We believe that because we can do something (physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually), we should do it. Instead of saying “no” we commit to something that erodes more of one of our most precious commodities- time.

This is tough because it is usually good things that we have to say “no” to. Take a look back at your work calendar through last semester. What were the top 5 things that occupied your time?

Were they missionally critical? Did they result in more kids hearing about Jesus?

If not, consider saying “no” to the things that don’t move the mission forward. The most difficult choices aren’t between good and bad but rather better and best.

Plan your work

Ministry work is filled with time wasters. (Honestly, most of you probably found this article while you really should have been doing something else. Am I right? Hello, Twitter? J)

To help with planning your work week well, create the list and then make decisions about what will occupy your time. Be sure to leave space in each day for the unexpected phone calls and appointments that are sure to come up. If you don’t begin to own your schedule it will eventually own you.

Infectious Discipline

Have you ever noticed that when you apply discipline in one area of your life, you become more disciplined in other areas as well? Some of the most spiritually enriching times for me have coincided with times I was eating healthy and getting some exercise.

So, if you find yourself struggling to maintain some spiritual disciplines maybe change your diet. Or, commit to walk with a friend a couple times a week and see if it helps. Sometimes simple changes in one area can lead to dramatic changes in others.

In a fallen world balance doesn’t happen naturally. It requires your attention and will power. Applying yourself now could mean the difference between finishing the school year with a full tank of energy or coasting in on fumes. 

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