It was a routine day at work and time for lunch. As I did several days during the week, I was going to a local restaurant to get away from the furniture factory and my office for a midday reprieve. Just a couple of miles later on a road that I had driven many times before, I suddenly realized there was no chance of stopping before hitting a car in front of me that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. With only minor injuries, I felt lucky, but also irritated. What happened? I remember the sun shining directly in my eyes and do not remember seeing any brake lights. I remember the radio was blaring. I remembered that I was thinking about work, probably more than driving. I remember thinking, “If I had paid better attention, or been more focused on driving, all those other things would not have distracted me enough to cause an accident.” Ever been distracted but didn’t realize it till it was too late?
Distraction – noun – a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.
We all know the definition and could easily list things that qualify as distractions. But do we sometimes fail to realize that they are taking place right before us? Can distractions happen in ministry? Of course. Are all distractions bad? Not necessarily. We could be doing good things but maybe we are not doing the best things. Those good things could be distractions.
If you could prescribe a cure for distractions, it just might be summed up in one word – FOCUS. Ephesians 5:15-16 says,“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” In the middle of Ephesians, chapter 5, Paul writes a great summation sentence of how to stay focused. There is a realization that time is important, and the world can be full of distractions that would keep us from doing what God would have us to do.
So how does this pertain to church planting? Maybe the first question to ask is, “What should our focus be?” As church planters, a portion of our focus should be on our personal walk with God, investment in our families (all needs – spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, etc.), and the ministry God has called us to live out. Every church plant, regardless of location, geography, people group, etc., should be focused on sharing Christ and discipleship. This may look different in every planter’s life or church plant he is leading.
This may just be a reminder of common knowledge. Maybe at the end of the week, and maybe it was a 50, 60, or 80-hour week of work/ministry, you could review the following questions to see how focused or distracted you were this week. This could be a way to help set the course for upcoming days.
- Did I spend daily time with God?
- Did I spend time with my spouse and my family?
- Did I share Christ with anyone this week?
- Did I spend time investing in someone else?
- Did I spend time in things that were unnecessary or unimportant?
Time is precious and the souls of people are eternally precious. Therefore, walk wisely and make the most of your time.