Monday, January 30, 2017

Performing a “Time Audit” of Your Life

One of the benefits of a new year is stopping to take stock of our lives—to assess whether we’re actually spending our time doing what matters most. We’ll never live the life God intends for us unless we intend to, and intending starts with an honest look at how we’ve created our schedules.
Our Spiritual Formations team has created a great tool to help us “audit” our most precious resource—our time. Check it out:
Five Life Resources:
  1. Spiritual – Every person’s heart yearns for something. Additionally, Jesus said that man was not meant to live on bread alone. Think of your soul as something with an appetite – and we are what we eat. Every human shares the same problem in that we love and trust the wrong things. When we love and trust things more than God, we begin to direct our lives toward those things in ways that do not bring glory to God.
  2. Relationships – God made people to live in community with others. The only aspect of creation that God did not deem good was that Adam was alone without Eve. More importantly than the basic need for others, Christ’s death created a new community that is essential for engaging in the pilgrimage from grace to glory: the local church.
  3. Physical & Emotional Energy – Our bodies have minds and muscles. Each of which need, at times, to be strengthened, fed, healed and rested. We are prone to worship or abuse these resources just like any other.
  4. Finances – Possessions are a resource that will either be stewarded by us or will come to control us. We are prone to love things more than God who gives them; this is idolatry. When we see God as the one who owns everything and ourselves as the steward, they become a means to bless others and glorify God.
  5. Time – Time is the resource that governs all the others. Your time is your life. As your time goes, so goes your life. We will invest or waste our time just like any other resource. Our lives are “a vapor” and the time we have is a resource and a gift from God to be stewarded just like the others. 
The Summit Margin Audit
1) List the 3-5 resources you view as most valuable in your life. What depletes them most? What “recharges” them?

2) Time Audit. We have 168 hours every week. This tool is meant to give you a snapshot of how you are spending yours and how you wish you were spending yours.

Complete columns #1 & #2 and be ready to reference it for subsequent questions.

 3) Prioritize. Think through your Time Audit and major commitments over the last year, and then complete column #3.  What are your current priorities based on your time and resource commitments?
4) Simplify. We can create margin by combining commitments to intersect and therefore reserve resources. What are some ways that you can cause intersection between different activities? How can your small group do this together?

Begin completing column #4.

5) Stop. Based on what you have discovered so far, what are some commitments or resource drains that you need to bring to a close in the near future.

6) Start. What is something you need to start that will allow you to steward and prioritize your resources biblically in order to glorify God.

7) Build habits and rhythms. Reflect on your activities, the time they take, the resources they use and give, and the changes that may need to be made.

by J.D. Greear, Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, a position he has held since January 2002.

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