A Good Kind of Busy [ARTICLE – Steven Jones]

College was a very busy time in my life. In fact, being a newlywed college student, I thought life was never going to be busier than it was while I was in Oklahoma City.

I was wrong!

The men of God we learned under at Heartland Baptist Bible College tried to warn us, but I didn’t listen. They tried to tell us, “Ministry life is far busier than Bible college.” Yet, I doubted them. I figured that being married, having ministries at church, working a full-time job, and being a full-time student meant that I was in the busiest time of my life. Perhaps you felt the same way. Maybe, if you’re a current student, you still think that way today.

I have only been in the ministry for one year, and, in this first year, God has made sure to show me how wrong I was about busyness in ministry. It is a good kind of busy, but ministry is busy!

Now, I don’t need to explain to you “why” or “how” ministry is busy. If you’re in ministry, or once you’re in ministry, you will completely understand. Instead, I would like to share some things God has taught me in my time here at Centre Avenue Baptist Church that might help you with your busy ministry or help you in your preparation for busy ministry.

First, don’t get the idea that you are in over your head. I know the feeling. You have so much going on, and it seems like more and more appears on your calendar. Trust me, you are okay. My old Sunday school teacher always told me, “God always gives grace for what He tells us to do.” If it ever seems like there is just too much to accomplish, maybe you have some things on your calendar that God isn’t telling you to do. I ran into that problem a few times.

Second, have a sense of urgency. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time working on things that weren’t priority. This led to me feeling rushed and pressured for the things that were of the utmost importance, like sermon preparation. Go into every task–cleaning the church, taking care of the grounds, or repairing something–with a sense of urgency. Make the most of God’s time. Just because it would be okay to spend 4 hours doing something doesn’t mean you should spend 4 hours doing it. Do a great job for the glory of the Lord, but do it with urgency.

Third, find your prime time. This is simply an encouragement to discover the time of the day when you are at your best and spend that time doing what is high on the priority list. For me, that time is between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. During that time frame, I do most of my study and sermon preparation. Some may have their prime time in the evenings or maybe the afternoon. Work with your prime time; schedule things to help you get the most done. Don’t waste your prime time; utilize it.

Fourth, there is a difference between busy and productive. We can talk of being busy all we want, but, unless we are productive, what are we accomplishing for Christ? After a week when I feel like I was really busy, I like to look back and ask myself, “What did I actually accomplish?” To be honest, some of my “busiest” weeks accomplished very little for God–even though I was running around like crazy.

Fifth, budget your time. Most of us learned about budgeting money in our younger years. Whenever we wanted to do something but we had no money to do it, we would sit down and go over our financial priorities. I am sure when you budgeted your money and tracked your spending, you noticed a lot of money wasted here and there. Time is no different. Ben Franklin said, “Time is the stuff life is made of; don’t squander it.” If you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish all you need to accomplish or desire to accomplish, sit down and budget your time. You might, as I did, find there is a lot of wasted time in your day.

Lastly, make it a family affair. One of the hardest things in ministry in my mind is balancing family time with ministry time. For me, the best way to do that is to keep my wife involved as much as I can (and as much as she can). When we are serving together, we are spending time together. My wife cleans the church with me, makes visits with me, helps in children’s ministry and teen ministry with me, and pretty much does everything except study with me! This may not work for everyone, but for us it means we spend plenty of time together, and it often cuts my work in half.

These tips likely aren’t anything new–just reminders. But the God we serve deserves our best in everything He has called us to do. Yes, ministry is busy, but it’s a good kind of busy. Next time it’s Vacation Bible School week and you still have to preach three times, teach two other lessons, make visits, handle the landscaping, clean the church, and accomplish everything else that comes up, then know you can enjoy that time and not feel overwhelmed.

I have learned how to enjoy this good kind of busy by not thinking I was in over my head, by keeping a sense of urgency, utilizing my prime time, focusing on being productive, budgeting my time, and by making it a family affair.

Steven Jones graduated from Heartland Baptist Bible College in 2016. He immediately went on staff at Centre Avenue Baptist Church in Artesia, New Mexico, where he and his wife, Holly, have served for over a year now. Steven and Holly have been married since December 2012 and are expecting their first child this December.

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1 Comment
  1. Welcome to the ministry! Your thoughts are right on target! Keep up the good work!

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