Our Most Crucial Role & the Need for Goals

Today our weekly morning prayer group finally resumed our discussion over breakfast of C. J. Mahaney’s helpful article on biblical productivity.

We’ve covered thus far in our reading some of the challenges of busyness masquerading as productivity and procrastination, to some guidance and help in how to ensure real productivity in our lives, to lately the consideration of the stewardship of the roles each of us has and the importance of setting limited goals weekly for each of those roles.

As a result of my interacting with this article I have identified six roles God has entrusted to me:

  1. Christian
  2. Husband
  3. Father
  4. Extended family member
  5. Ministry leader
  6. Neighbor

Mahaney rightly says that no other role is more crucial or central than that of “Christian.” And yet we mostly like assume this role and its responsibilities when we write our schedules and even consider it optional when other demands press.

He recommends identifying two specific goals as a subset of what it means to follow Christ:

  1. Communion with God
  2. Participation in the local church

Regarding the first, he writes:

The consequence of neglecting a personal goal is nowhere more serious than when we neglect God and neglect our own souls. Scripture sternly cautions us to enforce all diligence over our hearts: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23, ESV). We must study our hearts. We must monitor the condition of our hearts. We must work by the grace of God to employ the spiritual disciplines to keep our hearts with all vigilance.

Regarding  the second, he advises we ask ourselves the following questions:

  • When and how am I intentionally serving those around me? this year? this week?
  • When and how do I care specifically for those closest to me in the church? this year? this week? (For some of you, this will consist of serving those in your small group.)
  • When and how do I pray for and support my pastor? this year? this week?

I particularly like that last bullet point. 🙂

Jesus told His followers in John 15:5, I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

That last phrase alone ought to grip us with the importance of intentionally scheduling spiritual goals lest the cumulative effect of our efforts amount to nothing.

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