We schedule meetings. We schedule people to conduct ministry in the different time slots. We schedule rooms for the various ministries to be used at varying times. Sometimes it may seem like a tedious task but like everything we do, it too needs to be run through the grid of who we are in Christ and His design and purposes for the Church.
A good starting place is with what Jesus indicated as the two greatest commandments — to love the Lord with all of who we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:35-40).
All we do should hinge around these priorities, making even scheduling purposeful.
Scheduling as though Loving God is Our Primary Purpose
Jesus said the number one priority is to love God with all of who we are. Think about the way you schedule meetings and how you schedule people for ministry. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your church schedule promote the development of people’s relationship with God? Or, are you putting emphasis on attendance, service, giving, etc.?
- In scheduling people within the church, are you being sensitive to their need to put God first? Or, are you demanding so much of their time that they have little time left for Him? Just because people are attending church programs and serving doesn’t mean they are loving Him.
- Do you respect the desires God might have for people to express His love outside of church ministry? Or, do you so over-schedule people within the church that they have little left to give elsewhere?
Scheduling as though Loving Others Matters
Jesus indicated that the second priority is to love others as we love ourselves. Think about how you do scheduling. Ask yourself the following questions to make sure you are acting in love toward the people you serve.
- Are you scheduling within the church through the lens of His love? Or, are you insensitive to the needs of others, putting expectations on them that even God is not asking of them?
- As you do scheduling within the church, are you thinking about the needs and interests of others and their best fit in ministry? Or, are you trying to merely fill positions to meet your agenda regardless of the stress it places on others?
- Do you love the Church, and especially its Lord, enough to do scheduling in ways that are best for the whole Body? Or, do you put expectations on people that in the long run do more harm than good?
Being purposeful in scheduling requires that we ask ourselves these types of question. What greater purpose can we have than to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves?
In addition to the content on this page, the Steering the Church Toward God’s Purposes Leadership Guide includes some practical suggestions for scheduling as though loving God is our primary purpose and loving others matters.