Time Management God’s Way: What’s on Your To-Don’t List?

Post by Craig Groeschel from the Huffington Post

I was in a restaurant recently when I glanced over and noticed a family of four at another table, each person’s head bowed. I thought, “Oh, they’re praying together before their meal.” But when I happened to look back later, they were still looking down. Suddenly I realized: They weren’t praying. They were all typing into their phones! They were oblivious to one another, each person connecting with people who weren’t even there. Maybe you’ve seen the same thing, perhaps even in your own family.

With always-on access to global news, information and even to other people, it’s normal (even easy) for us to lose focus on the world right in front of us. When we’re constantly flipping channels, we start treating our attention like currency, careful not to spend it all in one place. Just as a look in your checkbook can reveal what you truly value, honestly assessing your daily activities and interactions can show you which things (and people) you really care about.

My wife Amy helped me see this in my own life. For years it was normal for me to only half-listen at home. Occasionally she would ask, “Are you listening to me?” I’d respond with a relationship survival skill I had adapted: I’d repeat back to her the last several words she had just said. But we both knew I wasn’t giving my undivided attention.

Then one day she asked me a very different question. She calmly explained, “You have a lot going on with the church. I’ll always support you. But when you’re with our family, can you be all here?” Her request was perfectly fair and reasonable.

Wherever you are, be all there.

That one tiny idea radically transformed the way I now conduct my everyday life. It immediately strengthened my relationships and, over time, even improved my capacity to make tough decisions. In the cloud of endless to-dos where most of us live, our minds are so cluttered that we overlook the joy just in being alive today. Be honest: Even as you’re reading this article, do your thoughts keep trying to wander to everything else happening in your life?

In our culture, that’s normal. Normal people are distracted, rarely fully present. We all have to fight getting pulled into the orbit of that constant gravity of busyness. Urgent tasks and priorities desperately cry out for our attention. Maybe it’s a chicken-or-egg situation, but I believe all that noise harms our well-being more than the legitimate stress of all the things we actually “have to do.” If you want to be different, you have to live differently. Weird people learn to silence distractions and remain fully in the moment.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:15-16). To leverage that advice when we make decisions, we need to answer: What is the wise thing to do in this situation? And what would it mean to “make the most” of this particular opportunity?

Christ had to make difficult decisions about how he would spend his limited time on earth. His example has a lot to teach us. But we have to take the time to discover what things are important to God by reading the words he gave us. We must also invest time meditating on what those things mean in our everyday lives. Then, the next time the chaos of urgency tries to dictate your next action, you can press pause. Having already thought about which things are most important, you’ll be able to make intentional decisions. (Urgent does not necessarily equal important.) Even if a decision carries you another step forward, it’s not progress if it leads you away from where you actually want to go.

In another letter from Paul, in Colossians 3:17, he suggested, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” When I focus on the things I believe are important to God, I live differently. I don’t make decisions based on my feelings, insecurities or selfish ambitions. Instead, I tend to favor others who have greater need. The conversations I have lend themselves to deeper, intimate connections — not simple, superficial information exchanges. “Did you go by the cleaners?” gives way to genuine care: “So, how was your day?”

Just as important as your to-do list — and perhaps more important — what’s on your to-don’t list? When you focus on the purposes you believe God created you for, you’ll have the stability to say no to some good things. And that will give you the space to be able say yes to the best things when they present themselves. Rather than just reacting to the waves of things that come, you can ride them with deliberate intention.

James 4:14 reminds us, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” We can’t have more time, but we can live with a greater awareness of the limited time we do have. Every opportunity that arrives on your doorstep will require some decision. If you’ve already decided what you value, you can fully enjoy each moment, secure that you’re living the life you want. God gives us an amazing present every day. Normal people leave this gift unwrapped, unrealized, unappreciated, and it’s gone before they know it. Weird people know there’s no time like the present.

View the original post HERE

Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton

summitbfast_eltonAre you in the Chicago area? Join us for Summit Breakfast with Chestor Elton!

How do leaders make work more rewarding for their employees to accelerate business results? Called the “apostle of appreciation” by The Globe and Mail, and “creative and refreshing” by The New York Times, bestselling leadership author Chester Elton addresses this question and many others in his energetic and information packed talks. Passionate about helping clients build a better workplace, Elton speaks around the world to companies such as Avis, Pepsi, and American Express.

Elton and his writing and business partner Adrian Gostick are the authors of What Motivates Me, All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results; The Carrot Principle; and The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform An Entire Organization. Their books have been translated into over 30 languages and have sold over a million copies worldwide.

Elton is #12 on the 30 top leadership gurus of 2013, he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine, and The New York Times, and has been a guest on CNN, 60 Minutes, MSNBC, FOX News, National Public Radio. He is a LinkedIn Influencer and has a weekly segment on how to build a better workplace on WCBS News Radio in New York.

He has spoken to audiences around the world and was the highest rated speaker at the Society for Human Resource Management’s annual conference. He also serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, Avis Budget Group, and Cigna. He is most proud, however, to be the father of four exceptional children—all the more exceptional now they have grown and left home.

Sign up for a breakfast presentation with Chester Elton today!

When: January 14, 2015
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: Willow Creek Community Church, Blue Sky 1
Cost: $10

3 Benefits to Reaching Beyond Your Comfort Zone

2015 has come to a start and many of you are stepping back into the office for the first time today. It’s time to create check lists, initiate meetings and get your head in the game to ensure that 2015 is the best year yet.

All of this is great, but we tend to start so fast that we forget one of the most important aspects of life that brings health to our year.

At The Global Leadership Summit 2014, Bill Hybels said, “God made you on purpose for a purpose. There’s not an accidental human being. Pastors, you have to bring the Kingdom of God outside the walls of your church and into your community and the world.” 

This is a great reminder not only for pastors, but for all of us who are the Church. We have a purpose to goes beyond the walls of comfort we know too well. As scary and burdening as it may seem, here are three benefits to reaching beyond the walls of your comfort zones:

1) When you establish different relationships you gain perspective on the realities of your community. When I think of the life of Jesus, I try to picture him at a party. And then I ask myself, what table would he sit at? How would he interact? This excise has helped me as I look at the relationships in my own life. Am I staying comfortable or reaching out?

2) You are reminded that your purpose goes beyond the walls of your day to day. We need to be reminded. As I mentioned earlier, we start the year off so fast that most of us get burned out before the first quarter even ends. Just take a step outside and you will see that reaching beyond your walls can be a sweet and life-giving reminder of your purpose and your calling. It may just be someones smile, a thank you, a glimpse of hope; you won’t know until you try.

3) You will be humbled in some shape or form. Sometimes we need a reality check. We can get so comfortable with where we are and who are around us. Engaging the community and people outside of our comforts can help us grow. It can stretch us, teach us and bring us to a new place of humility we never expected.

We can all benefit from going beyond the walls of the church and our comfort zones. You are not an accident. You have calling and as the Church we have a purpose.

What ways can you bring the Kingdom of God outside of your walls this week?

Story 6: Healing the Wounds

Meet Joshua Lwere. He is one of the GLS leaders in Africa. “I survived as a young boy from being slaughtered by the army.” Watch more of Joshua’s story as he talks about healing after 30 years of civil war.

Help WCA bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can train, equip and inspire Christian leaders globally. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Story 5: Taking Risks

Meet this brave GLS leader from Pakistan. Because of the great risk she is taking, we are not able to show her face. Watch her story on how she has been taking risks to bring leadership to the women in her country.

Help WCA bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can train more Christian leaders globally. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Story 4: The Battle of Curruption

Meet Luis Pinto. He serves as a leader for the GLS in Guatemala. Watch his story as he talks about the corruption leaders face in Guatemala.

Help WCA bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can train more Christian leaders to stand against corruption. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Story 3: Overcoming Challenges

Meet Paothang Haokip. He serves in India as a leader of the GLS. Watch his story as he talks about overcoming challenges as a Christian minority.

Help us bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can help make more stories like Paothang’s a reality. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Story 2: The Platform

Meet Gabriel Makan. He is a GLS leader in Nigeria, Africa. Watch his story to hear about the impact of the platform.

Help us bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can help make more stories like Gabriel’s a reality. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Story 1: It was the beginning of a change

It was the beginning of a change. Its my story. It is why I do the GLS.

Meet Piotr Gasiorowski. He is a leader for The Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Eastern Europe. Watch to hear how his story started.

Help us bring the GLS to under-resourced areas of the world. Together we can help make more stories like Piotr’s a reality. Through donation, here’s how you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – Training for local volunteers, producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

EQUIPPING LEADERS. INSPIRING A GRANDER VISION.

DONATE

Gifts That Impact The World

As a leader with your own unique challenges, we know you can appreciate the diversity and complexity of the challenges facing many leaders around the world–apathy, poverty, corruption, war and oppression. The Global Leadership Summit empowers us to meet these challenges head on, regardless of where we lead.

Christ-centered leadership really matters–especially in environments with a lack of education, mentoring and other opportunities designed to help us get better. This is why we are committed to serving leaders regardless of geography or economic means.

But we can’t do it alone.

In the next week we are going to be sharing stories of people from around the world. Because of partnerships and gifts from leaders like you, these stories have been made possible.

Will you partner with us in 2015? Here are a few ways that you can help:

$50 – help a courageous leader in an under resourced part of the world attend a local GLS and get access to other tools and resources
$250 – Send a church team to the GLS to form a bond of cooperation and accountability that can strengthen the heart of a church
$500 – train local volunteer producers and technical directors for each new GLS
$1500 – Cover the cost to translate one Summit Session into 1 of 55 languages
$3500 – Provide all the technology necessary to host the GLS in under-resourced cities.

Your gift changes the outcome for leaders in the most challenging environments.


GIVE THE GIFT OF LEADERSHIP. DONATE TODAY!