Take an inventory of your schedule.
The man who discipled me, shared two key words with me that have helped me assess my schedule. He said, “Craig, you must eliminate the things that are not very important so you can concentrate on what’s most important.” Eliminate and concentrate. Take a look at your schedule. How much time is going into things that are not important and certainly don’t matter for eternity? What things could be eliminated out of your life? How could you concentrate your time and be more productive?
Repurpose the time you already have.
many will say, “I’m just too busy to make disciples!” Usually I will ask, “Did you eat today?” “Yes,” the person will respond. “How many times did you eat?” “Three times,” he or she will say. “You ate breakfast, lunch and dinner?” I ask. “Yes, that’s right”. Then I’ll say, “If you eat three times a day, then you have at least three opportunities in every day to make disciples.” What if you took just one mealtime a week – one meal out of 21 – and gave it to the Lord for the purpose of sharing a meal and making disciples? As you begin to look at the time you already use, you will be surprised to find there are many ways to repurpose your time for making disciples.
Make an appointment.
Usually, we make appointments for the things that really matter. If you are sick, you will make an appointment with a doctor. If you need legal help, you will make an appointment with a lawyer. What matters most gets put on your calendar as an appointment. So why not make an appointment with your group to make disciples. It is just as important as any other appointment you have on the books. When I begin a group, I will set an appointment for that group meeting. I may meet early in the morning before work with a group. That becomes my first early morning appointment for that day. It gets scheduled. It’s on my calendar. other times, a group may meet early on a Saturday. That too becomes an appointment I set for the duration of the group. Carve out time to make disciples by making appointments and keeping them.
Be flexible and creative.
Many times, the people you are discipling have changing and flexible schedules. So don’t be afraid to be fluid, flexible and creative. one time, I was discipling a pilot whose schedule changed every week according to his flights. We had to change our meeting time every week, but we remained faithful to keep meeting. one time, I discipled a professional golfer who was out of town extensively during golf season. We met as a group and conference-called him every week. Technology allows us to communicate in creative and innovative ways. don’t let the inability of a regular meeting keep you from investing in someone’s life. Ultimately, making disciples is a matter of the heart. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also,” (Matthew 6.21 ESV). He was saying our time, our talent and our treasure will always follow what has our heart. We always find time, money and energy for the things we love the most. So make following Jesus and investing in others the heartbeat of your life, and when you do, you will find the time necessary to accomplish it.