Why Not Try This? …Outline Your 2007 Calendar Soon

There are far too many years in my life when I can’t really remember doing anything of significance. Those are usually the years I didn’t plan anything of significance!

Now is a great time to outline our plans for 2007. This includes putting dates in the calendar for major items.

Here is a visual picture someone shared with me that helps me tremendously as I plan each year- If you had a jar you wanted to fill with rocks, gravel, sand and water, your success would depend on which items you put in the jar first. If you started with the sand or gravel, you would never have room for the rocks later. But if you started with the rocks first and then added in the gravel, sand and water in that order you would have a great chance for success.

In the same way, as we outline our calendar for 2007, it is important to first put in the dates of the major events (“the rocks“), the ones that are integral to our identity and mission as Seventh-day Adventist pastors. For me this will include two harvest cycles, including reaping meetings and/or Global Mission trips (spring- Seattle area, fall- Boise or Vancouver area) and family vacations (two weeks in summer and two at Christmastime). I also include an intensive class or two from Andrews University Seminary to challenge me to keep on learning (Five days in May and/or November).

Next I put in other important events (“the gravel“) such as Pastors Meetings, other meetings I’m expected to attend, weeks of prayer, and, while pastoring a district, communion services and sermon series. Often my sermon series were one to three months long, and shared with elders or associate pastors, so I could schedule the entire year at once, whether I would be there every Sabbath or not.

Finally I add in the regular routines and planning (“the sand“) such as church board and business meetings and other committees, family days, personal & church outreach events, small groups I’m a part of, etc. The miscellaneous things in life (“the water“) just fill in the empty spaces and margins of my life as I enjoy each day.

Then as I live the year God has given me I look forward to the mountain top experiences as well as the simple memories with family, church family and those God is bringing into this great Adventist movement.

When we put the most important things in the calendar first, we are more likely to avoid distractions to our life purpose and mission. We also can avoid the human tendencies of over planning or under planning our lives.

Success in any line demands a definite aim. He who would achieve true success in life must keep steadily in view the aim worthy of his endeavor. Such an aim is set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being. It opens a field of effort to everyone whose heart Christ has touched.” {Education p. 262.1}

Blessings to you,

Dan Serns

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