And on the 8th day God created…

How do you feel about time?

Have you ever heard those in your communities say things like

“We’re just too busy” or

“We don’t have enough time”?

Given that there are just 7 days in a week, how can we choose to invest our time well?

We want to live lives of adventure but can often end up just about surviving the busy rush of daily life and then crashing in exhaustion. How can we do mission in a way that is honouring to our call and and yet doesn’t lead to burn out?

Here are 3 thoughts from our experiences about how to Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle from the perspective of time:

REDUCE the number of things your community is trying to do at once
Rather than attempting to do everything at once try to articulate with the group what God is currently teaching you about. Do this for the areas of worship, of mission and of community. To invest time in these 3 things you may need to reduce time spent on other good things. Within the missional community members will have taken on different responsibilities. Encourage group members to take an honest look at what is absorbing time and give permission for some things to stop or be done less well.
Consider – What am I doing that could be done with less investment of time? What am I doing that I can stop doing all together?

RE-USE the life rhythms of your group members
Missional Communities are about a lifestyle of worship, community and mission. Instead of adding on extras to an already busy lifestyle try instead to think about what things you already do. An easy place to start is with meals. Invite others over for dinner. Over the dinner think about how you want to use this time and use a question to direct conversation. Maybe ask that everyone shares something they are thankful for while you eat. Re look at your everyday life of shopping, exercise, walking home and think about how to re use the time you already spend to include others.
Consider – What do I already do that I can include others in?

RE-CYCLE the time your community spend together
Take a look at the next few months and what the group has planned to do together (including time spent at small, medium and large church gatherings.) Think about if some of these opportunities can be recycled and used differently to more match what God is saying and what the opportunities or needs that you can see. For example, if someone is moving house, your group could spend the time normally given to meeting together that week to help with the move.
Consider – What time have I already committed which can be used differently?

These are some practical ideas. The foundation to getting healthy rhythms always needs to come back to grace:

If you’re feeling tired, overworked and low on time as a resource, the answer isn’t to try harder. It’s to come to Jesus and ask him to teach you how to do it.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30 (The Message)


Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono