If You Don’t Respect Your Time No One Will. We teach people how to treat us. If you allow people to yell at you then they will. If someone begins to yell at you and you let them know that you don’t have to take it and will not take it you will teach them to not yell at you. The same is true of your time. If you drop what you’re doing for people then they will demand this. Doug Fields at NYWC talked about how if a kid called him during supper he would leave the table and talk about whatever problem they had. He would meet them at odd hours and basically be on call 24 hours for people. Then he realized he didn’t have too. When they call he can ask them if he could call them back at a later date and 99% of the time he could. But people will demand from you what you allow them to.
I can remember growing up dad changing plans, leaving vacation early, etc for church business. Now I know there are special circumstances but most of the time we do this because we feel we have to when most of the time we don’t. We have taught people how to treat us and many times we teach them that we are at their beck and call and that our life doesn’t matter as much as their’s. I can not tell you the number of minister’s families who resent the church. They have been abandoned for the church when it really could have waited till later.
Don’t Make Someone a Priority When You Are Not a Priority to Them. I am not saying that you can’t invest in people and that as a minister you shouldn’t have one-sided relationships. As a minister 90% of your relationships are one-sided. I am saying that to make someone a priority with your time, energy, resources, money, etc and they have wouldn’t give you a quarter or 5 minutes then you don’t need to put them ahead of people who would ie- your family and your friends. Once again I know ministers who would invest hours in someone but not invest time in their family. Many ministers isolate themselves and have no real friends because they don’t make friends a priority. I can invest hours in a one-sided relationship and it is my job. But I don’t make them a priority over my family or my friends.
Feel free to add other tips or advice.