“What I would like to do here is to try to persuade you to set aside time each week in the coming year to plan—and specifically to plan your life of prayer and devotion and ministry.”
Some great admonition from John Piper from almost 3 decades ago: A New Years Plea – Plan! The entire article is brief and well worth the read.
His assertion is that God’s spirit often arrives ready to work in us and he finds, due to poor planning, we’re not ready for him to work.
Here’s how I’m going to use the article in my initial discipleship appointments with my staff and students:
- First: Work thru the verses on planning that Piper lists out (thru Proverbs and the example of Paul) and help my staff/students come to the conclusion that Piper draws from Proverbs: “Careful planning is part of what makes a person wise and productive. Not to plan is considered foolish and dangerous.”
- Second: Have them map out a plan for the semester – especially focused on their walk with God and their ministry. Do this using the example of Paul as drawn out by Piper: “He had a general guideline: he wanted to preach where no one had preached before. Then he developed a specific plan from this guideline”. Application- “OK Joe Staff. You want to launch a Bible study in that dorm and lead guys to Christ. What do you need to do first? Then what? How are you going to work that into your schedule? When will you spend time there?”
- Third: Have them map out when they will plan every week specifically for ministry for the following week. To look ahead to the coming week and set up appointments, plan discipleship and Bible study material, etc.. For us, it will probably be Friday afternoon.
Another great application point for those of us on Staff with Campus Crusade:
- As staff we get to take an entire once a month to spend with God. Piper expects that his staff would use that day to plan their spiritual lives. For some reason I’ve never thought about using my day with the Lord in that way – planning. I always use it devotionally and often reactively – just catching my breath spiritually (if that makes sense). What if we used that day proactively to plan out our spiritual well-being for the month so that every day/week would be fruitful.
What have you found helpful as you plan and help others plan their ministry/devotions?
photo courtesy of koalazymonkey