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[REQUEST] Time Management and Planning

Permanent Linkby Abby Taylor on Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:34 am

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Understanding of the biblical perspective of management is slightly different from the secular perspective. Biblical approach conceptualizes management as the process of meeting the needs of people as they work to accomplish their tasks within an organization or any given context. Commitment of a leader to meet the needs of volunteers in the Christian context will often naturally motivate volunteers to readily accept to serve and meet the goals and needs of the leader. This paper focuses on how a Christian leader can plan, set the right priorities, and manage time effectively according to the vision of the church. The paper also evaluates how effective time management and planning can motivate volunteers in the team to serve and enhance realization of the goals of the church.
Time Management and Vision and Purpose of the Church
Time management is a critical component of management in any particular set up, Christian organizations included. A Christian leader must, therefore, be a keen and effective time manager. A Christian leader must value time and appreciate the fact that time is an important resource that must be optimally managed and utilized for the realization of the goals in life or at workplace. Effective time management that aims at realizing the goals that a Christian leader has must be characterized by prioritization of tasks. Ability of a Christian leader to prioritize tasks and implement them is imperative to the realization of the visions and purpose of the organization.
Prioritization of tasks is critical to the realization of the visions and purpose of the church. Time management is instrumental in the sense that it enables a church leader to limit time robbers and focus on more urgent issues that are important to the church. A leader must thus identify personal time robbers and prioritize tasks so as to meet the purpose of the church. In order to manage the time for the realization of the purpose of the church, the beginning point must be identification and conceptualization of the vision and purpose of the church. After identification of the vision and purpose of the church, a church leader, for example, in the missionary department can breakdown the purpose and vision into small manageable parts that build into whole objective. After this, a Christian leader can use the time management inventory sheet as tool for improvement of time management for practical realization of the purpose and vision of the church.
The process of time management and prioritization must begin with sober and genuine identification of time robbers that are common in the department where the leader is working. Time inventory sheet can be effective in prioritizing and managing time to enhance realization of the purpose and vision of the church. The inventory enables the leader to record what he plans to accomplish within a specified time and compare it with what was actually accomplished. This evaluation or assessment of the purpose or vision that the leader set to accomplish would then provide me with a clear picture of the progress that I have made in a bid to meet the targets that are re-aligned to the visions and purposes of the church. This process, therefore, requires a church leader to identify goals and visions that are stated in SMART.
While assessing the progress or the level of achievement of the tasks that were prioritized, it is important to be very specific since most of the time robbers that leaders find focusing are disguised and intertwined within some of the legitimate activities that one finds himself engaging in. It is important that a leader keeps a record of all the activities executed that are relevant to the purpose and vision of the church. This will be helpful in the evaluation of the progress towards realization of the vision. This evaluation must be done from time to time and should factor in the challenges such as interruptions by external forces.
The time inventory sheet enables a Christian leader to monitor how time was spent within a given duration of time. By determining the amount of time spent in scheduled activities alongside the amount of time spent in the un-scheduled activities, I will be able to assess the steps I make towards realization of the church visions. Controlled and uncontrollable ways of solving failure to prioritize and implement plans as scheduled. A church leader must be able to distinguish between controllable and uncontrollable time. The controllable activities that might challenge timely realization of the vision and purpose of the church must be treated as time robbers and enemies to prioritized tasks. However, the uncontrollable activities that range from emergency meetings, for example, those called by the boss should considered as part of the job.
Although the uncontrollable activities might rob one of the times to execute the activities as envisaged in the time management inventory, these activities, for example, a meeting with the boss only serves to help the leader get a clearer picture of what the church leadership demands. Nonetheless, a Christian leader must also strive to eliminate time robbers and coining a new approach in dealing detractors. Leaders who are keen on meeting the purpose and visions of the church must identify and appreciate the fact that time wasting does not just come if not permitted. Thus the process of prioritization becomes more real than other processes since it helps in prioritizing tasks in terms of urgency and for effective time management that collectively contribute to the realization of the goals of the church.
The trick of a Christian leader in succeeding in the implementation of church activities aimed at meeting the visions and purpose of the church would be drawing a long- term strategic plan that reflects the goals of the church, say within a year. Working as the missions and outreach leader, I would begin by looking at the vision of the church in that particular year and relate it to the mandate of the missions and outreach department. The next phase then would be to program the activities in the year in a manner that their successful implementation as scheduled would help the entire church move close if not attain the vision it has. For example, if the church’s vision is to reach out to many with the gospel of Christ as a way of fulfilling the great commission in Mathew 28, I will summon the mission’s committee members and begin planning missions and outreach activities for the year.
However, effective planning and limitation of time robbers would require a leader to plan for interruptions and emergencies that might halt the plans. I would, therefore, factor in this in the planned activities and their timelines. The greatest secret of success in monitoring and evaluating the progress made in this sense would be to consider having a personal portable diary where I note the changes in the planned activities and the levels of success with which the activities that have been implemented have achieved in relation to the general vision and purpose of the church. For, example, the church leadership might influence the mission’s committee to consider limiting the gospel outreach activities and participate in the organized international conference. This should be planned for to ensure that while attending to the emergencies, the vision and missions of the department I head are also realized. This must, however, be followed with constant evaluation to record the progress or the extent to which the activities are being implemented.
Another secret of succeeding in realizing the visions and purpose of the church through prioritizing is to limit activity trap as much as possible. Activity trap is a situation where a leader is involved in many activities, is always busy with tasks that by the end of the day do not contribute to the pre-defined vision or purpose of the organization. I will learn from the book of 1 Kings 20:40. Here, the bible talks of a servant who was given job of watching a prisoner. But while he was busy here and there, the prisoner escaped. This means that there are certain activities that might keep one very busy throughout the season yet in the end limit a church leader’s ability to meet the goals of the church. For example, in this case, I would work hard to limit having many and frequent meetings planning for missions and instead plan and implement the tasks with a focus to helping the church reach out to as many people as possible with the gospel by the end of the year and contribute towards the realization of the vision and purpose of the church.
Time Management, Planning and Motivation of Volunteers
Volunteers play a critical role in any organization, including the church. However, given the voluntary nature of their work, they must be motivated to perform the tasks and help the management realize the purpose and vision of the church. This resonates well with the definition of management earlier on identified. The role of management in this context would be to meet the needs of the volunteers as they serve, under the direction of a leader, to meet the goals of the church. Well-performed time management, planning of tasks and involvement of volunteers are critical to the motivation of volunteers in the church.
Since volunteers work out of good will, a Christian leader must plan tasks effectively so that the volunteers are able to know exactly what tasks they should be involved in at any given time. Knowledge of when their services and support will be needed is critical in helping volunteers to plan themselves and be available for the tasks. The relevance of this in motivating volunteers is that they will feel a sense of self-actualization if they come and find tasks are well planned and organized and ready for implementation.
It is de-motivating for volunteers to prepare psychologically for tasks only to find that the time they were available and would have wished to participate in a voluntary work, the leader has programmed other activities. Frequent experience of such inconveniences or incompatibility in the timings or schedules of the volunteers and schedules of the tasks are likely to reduce the passion and zeal of the volunteers to, not only avail themselves for the tasks but also, actively participate in the tasks themselves. Volunteers work purely based on their intrinsic motivational levels. Time management and planning is critical in building extrinsic motivation which is the second component of motivation. Time management will persuade the volunteers and help them to know when exactly they should be performing the scheduled tasks and with whom. This is the responsibility of a leader to connect with them.
The planning component involves not only scheduling the activities but also linking the volunteers to the people they should work with. Involvement of volunteers in the planning of the tasks is a way of motivating them to feel valued by the management or leadership of the organization or the church. Thus planning and effective time management contributes to the motivation of volunteers and helps the leadership or management to realize its visions and purpose within the specified period of time. Besides, the level of motivation of volunteers is critical in will depend significantly on how the leadership of an organization or the church treats them. Handling them with dignity and informing them what is expected of them at every given time will go a long way in helping the volunteers give their best services in the church and feel involved as important stakeholders.
When a church leader manages time and shows leadership through effective time management, the volunteers will find it easy to follow suit. Since volunteers are keen on their time, since there is nothing they are getting in return for their services, a leader must, therefore, be able to lead by example. The ability of the church leader to set examples in times of planning and management of time has the power of inspiring volunteers and motivating them to also manage time effectively and plan their volunteered time to ensure the church meets its goals and purpose through voluntary services. This inspiration is important since it has the effect of helping the volunteers to set goals and strive towards meeting the goals of the church. The effectiveness of the volunteers will depend, significantly, on the church leader to help them set goals and minimize wasteful usage of time and instead meet the targets set before them.
Volunteers learn to participate in tasks based on their evaluation or perception of the level of commitment of their leaders. The level of commitment of the leadership to the goals and visions of the church can be evaluated by their commitment to the tasks or activities that are intended to meet those goals. Thus, effective time management by the leadership is likely to translate to high level of motivation and commitment of volunteers to participate in the tasks of the church or programmed activities aimed at helping the church to meet its objectives from time to time.
Effective time management and planning of tasks that require participation of volunteers must consider setting targets to them. There is a level of motivation that comes with a sense of achievement after realization of the targets that are set from time to time. Thus, a leader working with volunteers is able to motivate them to actively participate in church programs and activities not only in the present but also in the future. This is because when the volunteers know what targets they have, pull their resources and efforts together and achieve the goals that are set before them, they will likely have a sense of self-fulfillment and achievement. This will often motivate them to work hard and realize the objectives of the church. Thus effective planning and time management is a critical component of in the motivation of volunteers to meet the purposes and visions of the church.
Time management and planning are core components of leadership of any organization, including churches. A Christian leader must set priorities right and limit tasks that will turn out to be time robbers. Working with volunteers requires a leader to inspire and motivate them to participate actively in the church programs. Setting example by effective time management and planning of activities as well as involving volunteers in the planning of task motivates them to perform the tasks without coercion.
Abby Taylor is a writer entrepreneur and an academic writer at quality essays. She likes to travel and describe the seen things on the paper.

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