Most leaders are struggling to “fit it all in”. From home, to work, to kids, to spouse, to church, to parents we are all trying to not leave anyone out. We feel stretched and stressed. Successful relationships happen on purpose. Here is how to prioritize the relationships in your life and make sure you are hitting the bullseye. I saw an old Ed Sullivan show years ago where a man was spinning plates. He started one plate spinning on top of a stick, then a second, then a third. He had to run back to keep the first plate spinning while he started number four, five, and six! He ultimately had fifteen plates spinning at once, all kept alive by his running back and forth. Sound like your relationships?
This is a true Olympic archery bullseye.
It gives us a picture of a plan for making it all fit:
1. Start with God
- A time with God early in the morning is the only relationship that does not deplete you. Time with God renews you. Prayer does not waste your time, it saves you time! Ask God to wake you up to worship Him, read your Bible plan, and connect with His Spirit.
2. Stay with your spouse
- I’ve told Melanie, “If you leave me, I am going with you!” My spouse gets daily contact, often multiple times during the day even when I travel. Outside of God, she is my highest priority relationship.
3. Include your children
- All six of my children are involved in ministry (I attribute most of that to Melanie). They are my best disciples. The time I spent with them in a weekly family night, participating in sports activities, taking them with me on trips, and nighttime Bible reading sure paid off. I connect with each of them every few days even though five of them are already married.
4. Make room for a small group
- John Wesley required every Methodist to be in a small group every quarter or they didn’t get a “ticket” to be a Methodist any more! Each week, every member would share with their group the state of their soul and a verse that helped them overcome temptation or difficulty. In today’s stressful world, prioritize a spiritual “family” who know you, love you, include you, encourage you, and hold you accountable.
5. Don’t neglect your parents
- Your parents, uncles, cousins, and in-laws are your family also. Be intentional about setting up at least a monthly time where you are in a relaxed setting with them for fellowship. When they have gone on to heaven, you will wonder why in the world your beautiful shrubs in the front yard were more important.
This is not a time management study but a relationship management study. How you fit in the other hours of work, maintenance, shopping, etc. is for you to decide. NONE OF THAT is as important as your relationships. For more on relationship management, see the Model Man website. If you are a pastor, consider joining this movement.
Are you hitting the bullseye? What area of these five is the hardest for you to consistently fit in?