Lesson 5, in a series of lessons learned, don’t let the urgent trump the truly important. Every day in ministry people will come to you with their urgent requests. They will want you to respond to their email first, address the needs of their ministry first, spend time with them first, because in their opinion their need is the most urgent. But the reality is that although it may be urgent to them, it isn’t necessarily the most important thing for you.
If we respond to every “urgent” request that comes our way we will never accomplish what is truly important. That is why you have to have a clear sense of what God has called you to do, and make it a priority to accomplish that. For me, that means scheduling time on my calendar each week to accomplish the things that I feel called to, and not letting the business of everything else keep me from honoring those commitments.
To be clear this doesn’t mean you ignore people’s requests, in fact you still have to get back to them in a timely manner. I would suggest setting of a goal of getting back to people within 24 hours is a pretty good rule of thumb.
It also doesn’t mean that there are not times when the urgent is also the most important. One example, in times of loss, the most important thing for a pastor to do is be there. In cases like these the urgent becomes the most important. Outside these extraordinary events, however, we need to be laser focused in doing what God has called us to do, not what people expect of us.
We are called first to be servants of Christ, not servants of the church. Our service to Christ leads us to serve the church, but our marching orders come from Him and Him alone.