Guide to Creating Margins for Discipleship
We live in a culture that devours our margins. Our busyness is often seen as a success, but in reality, it has begun to eat into the important things! One of the main reasons people give for not being discipled or discipling someone else is, “I do not have time.” The goal of this next section is not a legalistic approach to scheduling our days, but an exercise to evaluate whether we have the “margins” to make disciples. The following Guide to Creating Margins comes from Disciple SC, a framework for pastors and church leaders to help their congregation make disciples.
1. Evaluate Your Priorities
First, we must begin by evaluating what we value most in our life. Jesus states in Matthew 22:37-39 that the main priority as a believer is to “Love the Lord your God…” with everything you have. Second, He says to “love your neighbor as yourself.” It is not only a responsibility but a privilege and response to who God is.
As an extension of this, we love those around us, and we should want the same “good” for them as we want for ourselves. One of the ways we can evaluate our priorities is by evaluating how we spend our days.
2. Evaluate Your Time
On a scrap sheet of paper, write a timeline of a typical day for you. Write down what time you get up. Write down what time you go to bed. Shade in time at work. Shade in other “set time” expenditures.
What do you do with the rest of your time?
3. Be Intentional
Referring to your paper, when do you spend time alone with God? Where could you schedule time to walk with someone else as they seek God? Where can you “Create Margins” if they are not there already?
Be creative! Look at the things you are already doing and consider how they could be used to seek God personally or invest in someone else.
4. The Art of Saying No
Jesus was quite generous with His time, attention, and resources, but even He said “no” at times (See Mark 1:35-38).
We have to evaluate if there are things that are holding us back from “running the race.” Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us.” Some of these things holding us back could be good things that are just out of place.
We must be honest and seek the BEST things and the BEST use of our time.
5. Evaluate Frequently
Creating and maintaining margins in your life is a never-ending journey. Time is one of our most valuable commodities and should be stewarded well.
There will always be something new that wants a piece of your time. Consider the cost.
Loving God and loving others must be a priority. Our commitment will often be demonstrated in how we “manage the clock.”
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