Step 5: Improving Disciple-Making - Part 3

This will include the need for vision in disciple making and the best use of time. A list of " time wasters" and " time savers" will be in the lesson discussion.

There needs to be a genuine vision for disciple making. Here's God's word about this: Prov. 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Like any important understanding it takes vision goes beyond the present see God's plan and perfection. Matt. 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Spirit alone, apart from human action, does not develop disciples. If that were true, every Christian would be "spiritual."

Consider This:   "If the whole world repented, believed the Gospel, was baptized and even added to the church, then stopped at this point, the full commission of the Lord Jesus would not have been accomplished. We are commanded to " make disciples" of believers, "teaching them to observe all that I commanded you." Amazing! Do you believe this?

It is important to consider in detail our use of time. At best we waste valuable time. In what way?

1. By not spending as little as five minutes a day to plan your activities and use of time to accomplish priority things: Can you daily identify a priority item? Stop focusing on easy but unimportant things. Get an early morning start if you want good production. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

2. By not having pen and paper (or stick-on notes) at hand to remind you of things to do, people to call, ideas to remember

3. By watching TV, reading unnecessary material, "day dreaming," talking too long on the telephone, or personally doing things others could and should do (even paying them if needed), searching for things you carelessly misplaced, worrying, getting involved in things that should not concern you or be your responsibility. Maybe you are needlessly "neat" (rearranging your desk, closet, attention to clothes).

4. By procrastinating and creating a crisis or "rush situation" later that disrupts an orderly schedule. Maybe you sleep too much. How many hours do you need to stay healthy and alert?

5. By working when fatigued, with poor concentration, rather than taking a "nap" or brief rest. Maybe you don't get enough sleep. Maybe you eat too much or at the wrong time. Are you overeating? Go on a diet, exercise more.

6. By not keeping a good filing system and using it helpfully:

    a. File only essential material.

    b. Put things in files immediately.

    c. Have useful titles so you can locate things quickly.

    d. Take an hour once a month to clean up your files, discarding some things and acting on others.

7. By not doing two things at once that are not conflicting. Think, memorize, pray while you walk/ride, use the bathroom. Listen to tapes when walking or riding. Read while you eat (when possible).

8. By not saying "no" when you should, resulting in postponement or neglect of higher priority items.

9. By not using your wastebasket enough (the round file), thus increasing clutter, which interferes with your work. Put needed things in their proper place.

10. By not writing short notes or making brief phone calls to take care of things quickly.

11. By reading every piece of junk mail that crosses your path.

12. By not keeping useful reading matter at hand so you can fill in spare moments. Throw away what you have read or no longer must keep. File articles practically you may want to use in the future.

13. By not making prompt decisions to dispose of questions or issues because you always want more info. What is enough? Don't be a "perfectionist."

14. By not putting things in the same or right place (tossing your keys somewhere) so you spend time looking for them. Pray for lost items.

15. By pursuing unresponsive people and activities which God has not blessed, despite your time investment.

Consider these possible "time savers":

1. During the day, repeatedly ask, "What is the best use of my time - right now?" "Is what I'm doing getting me closer to my goals?"

2. Get started on overwhelming A-1 tasks by using short time periods (5 minutes or more) to prepare and organize procedures or explore one aspect of task (pulling out relevant files and materials). Discipline your time use to get going now. Do not procrastinate. It's a hindering sin.

3. Use your time twice; while driving, listen to a cassette, do dictation, memorize verses, think through problems; take along a book or magazine with you to the barbershop or doctor's office; memorize a verse during your shower or bath.

4. Think about puzzling questions just before retiring unless this keeps you awake (this allows the subconscious to work on the problem while you sleep). Record first thoughts in the morning.

5. Keep reading matter conveniently available, especially when doing things that don't interfere (eating, going to the bathroom).

6. Give up worrying (Matt. 6:34). Most of our fears never happen. God takes care of sparrows. Why not you?

7. Avoid delving into things that are none of your concern or doing anything that could be delegated. Above all avoid needless procrastination, which is a sin considerably destructive.

8. Keep following your "to do list" in order of priority.