Simply put, if you want others to bleed, you’ve got to hemorrhage. If we want our members to be accountable for their time and kingdom issues, what about us? They work 8-10-12 hours a day and then are still expected carry out their spiritual commitments. After all, they are laity—they are not in the full-time vocational ministry.
By T. F. Tenney
Should this question be posed to most of us, the answer would probably be, “Yes, I’m committed!” Without hesitancy we would answer in the positive. Commitment is one of our core values. Let’s talk about it.
Admittedly, there are levels of commitment. A kamikaze pilot who completed fifty missions might be involved but he is not committed. The first one was supposed to be it. Jesus spoke of 30- 60- 100-fold. Evidently, there’s a foundational base, and then upward or downward from there are commitment levels.
Nothing demonstrates your true commitment any more than your visible actions. It’s not just talking this talk, but it is walking this walk. In today’s world, what is the leading indicator for commitment?
The corporate world says their chief indicator is how they spend their time in this generation. Time seems to be more important to people these days than money. If you think not, try to get some volunteers for a church assignment. They may say, “Pastor, I don’t have time but I’d willing to pay someone else to come work.” In the ministry, are we in control of our time? Is it valuable to us? It’s the chief indicator of where our truest values lie. This principle is apostolic.
The dilemma in the early church concerned thee Grecian widows. What were the apostles going to do? Most assuredly, they delegated the provision. As far as they were concerned, the first administrative decision of the New Testament apostolic council was, “We’re going to give ourselves to prayer and the Word of God.” They were in control of their time for primary issues. The principle is still valid today. If the enemy cannot overtly defeat us, then he settles for second best—stealing our time—allowing the urgent things to crowd out the important things, draining our creative energies in pursuit of the mundane or secondary.
Preachers don’t punch a clock. But there’s a God in heaven who take notice. Job said, “My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.” God is the timekeeper. Have you ever audited how you spend your time? Do you portion your time out to the most valuable things in your ministry? Ask yourself, “What are the most valuable things in my walk with God?” Then, evaluate their importance by the amount of time you spend doing these things. The author of a business principle book made this observation, “Leadership is a service. Leaders serve a purpose for the people who have made it possible for them to lead—their constituents. They are servant leaders not self-serving but others-serving. The relationship of leader and constituent has been turned upside down—or rather, it has been righted.” Now, remember—that wasn’t from a Christian frame of reference. If a leader in business is going to make it today, he’s going to have to have a servant heart and build relationship with his constituents—that is, his employees and customers. This takes priority time.