I hate the use of the word hack for everything under the sun, but I’m going to use it here anyway: an afternoon energy hack. I’ve worked this issue over many different ways in my life. For instance, I know enough not to go to a Chinese buffet for lunch on a day when I need to work inside in the afternoon. That is just a recipe for napping on my seat or on my feet. It just does no good. What I eat at lunch makes a big, big difference.
Today I have some thoughts on how to plan your year, but with a little bit of a twist. If you follow my Priority Pastor podcast or my content at all you know I’m fairly big into planning and goal setting and quarterly planning, all that kind of stuff. But one of the most strategic things I do as a part of planning my year is to simply write out a prayer for your year. In this prayer, I write out all the things I’m asking the Lord to do in my life, my family, my ministry, in the high level areas that I concern myself with.
This can be done in the new year, at your birthday or in the middle of the year if you have not done it yet, so really whenever you plan your year. I typically do this near the beginning of the new year, and then tweak it a little bit and make sure it kind of covers everything I want it to cover. Then for the first few weeks of the new year, I will review it and pray it over and then I’ll forget about it. I have this actually in a file I do every year called seeking and then the year number. So this year it’s Seeking 2023, and it’s basically seeking God.
I was just looking at some of the data from a couple different Barna surveys of pastors from last year and where they’re at in relation to their ministry. They asked the question, have you given real serious consideration to quitting being in full-time ministry within the last year in January of 2021 and 29% said yes. Then by October 38% were saying yes. And of those under the age of 45, 46% of them were saying yes.
The way the question is worded, it’s not saying have you felt like quitting some days, which I think all of us do no matter what our job is, but the question was real serious consideration to quitting being in full-time history. That’s really quite significant. They’re actually looking for a way to leave ministry.
The question is why is that? Why do you think it is? I know in my world, anecdotally, as we’re seeing pastors leaving churches, most of the pastors I’m seeing leaving a ministry are also leaving the ministry, at least the vocational pastoral ministry.
I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the beginning of a year or what the deal is, but I’ve been a little bit focused on tweaking my routine. The last podcast had to do with an evening routine adjustment I’ve made, and this one has to do with the morning routine.
Last time I talked to you about unplugging the internet or having an internet timer on. Our timer is currently set that our internet goes out at 9:30 at night, which leads to more reading, earlier to sleep, and it’s just good all around. I’m quite happy with that.
I want to highlight something today that I have probably mentioned in the past along the lines of productivity and energy management, but something that I’ve revisited here early in the new year. It was one of our better household habits over the last year or so and we’re actually enhancing it a little bit. What I’m talking about is having a timer on our modem for the internet.
Now in our household, we don’t have cable TV. Our TV is effectively the internet, and our primary location probably is YouTube both for instructional and entertainment. We also have Amazon Prime, so we catch some things there, but YouTube is where we spend a lot of our time.