For many, scheduling seems to be getting harder and harder. While we could probably cite many reasons for that, I want to focus on one that relates to the person doing the scheduling. Sometimes difficulty scheduling occurs because we get locked into our agenda of expectations, a set criteria for frequency of people to serve, our timetables, our program needs, etc. We’ve always done it a certain way and that’s how we continue. But, the people we’re working with now probably differ, at least in part, from those we first started recruiting. Circumstances or needs may have changed. As leaders we must learn how to be flexible.
Want to be Christ-like? Then be Flexible in Scheduling.
Jesus wasn’t locked into one way. He varied the scheduling of training and ministry assignments. He tailored how He scheduled according to the needs of the moment and of the people serving as well as those being served.
Some of the training, because of the type of ministry, required being with Jesus near twenty-four seven as was the case with the disciples who would go on to be leaders (apostles) of the Early Church. Sometimes, however, he did send them on ahead. We read of how He sent them in pairs at times rather than as a whole group (Mk. 6:7) or as individuals.
He gave some short term opportunities for serving after which they came back to Him for debriefing. We read of how He sent them out with nothing, expecting others to care for their needs. Later He told them to take needed resources with them (Lk. 9:1-6; 10:1-11; 22:35-36).
Flexibility in Scheduling Doesn’t Mean Haphazard
Christ-like flexibility doesn’t mean we flounder, constantly changing, not having any form of standards or accountability. Rather, we base how we schedule on the ministry for which we’re scheduling.
Consider these examples:
- If the ministry requires consistency in relationships in order to impact lives (i.e., working with young children), then we should look for a higher level of frequency when scheduling.
- If the ministry is more task-oriented (i.e., stocking shelves in a food bank), then the same person may not be needed as frequently.
- If the ministry requires a lot of training, then we want people to serve enough to make the investment worthwhile.
We need to know what can change and what shouldn’t. Where can we apply a little grace in scheduling without sacrificing effective ministry? Where must we hold tight to a given standard or expectation? Take time to think through your scheduling needs with Christ-like flexibility and it might not be quite as hard.