The Bateman Family

Batemans in Argentina

Shawn Bateman, Misionary to Argentina

July 3, 2018

“Getting It Done: My New Boss”

“Getting It Done: My New Boss”

I think one of the things that missionaries and pastors struggle with the most is not one that you would suspect. Perhaps one of the most difficult battles we face is time management, and it is because many of us have received little to no training in this area. Little to no training in an area that will determine to a great extent the kind of ministry we will have.

If you think time management is not important, think of the Prophet Daniel, who was a president (a very high ranking authority) in his country (Babylon). Yet with all of his governmental obligations, he made time to pray three times a day. If a man of his standing and responsibilities can manage his day to have time for spiritual exercises, I think we can as well. I think managing our time will be one of the most spiritually beneficially things we can do for ourselves as well as for the people we minister to.

Unfortunately, instead of managing our time we are “thrashing.” “Thrashing” is a term I learned from my friend, Ty Pepperdine, missionary to China. He said that at his former job they used this word to describe a time of activity that wasn’t accomplishing anything. Imagine a freshly caught fish “thrashing” on the bank of the lake. There is a lot of movement but nothing is being accomplished. Many ministries are characterized by “thrashing.” You, as the pastor or worker in the church, seem to be always busy doing something but not making much progress. In this series we will look at some strategies that will help us in our endeavor to be effective stewards of the time our Lord has given us. Today I want to look at organization.

Meet my new boss: When I worked for UPS I had a manager. He told me what time we would start and he checked over my work to make sure I was accomplishing what I was suppose to. When I wasn’t doing what I should be doing he told me to get with it, many times in not so nice a way. Now that I’m a missionary I don’t have a “boss.” I have a pastor, I have a director at my mission board, and I have two or three men that I consider mentors. Not one of them calls me daily to make sure I’m working or if I even showed up for work. They take it for granted that I am a grown man who is responsible enough to “make it happen.” They offer encouragement, counsel, and at times reproof, but not daily supervision. So who is my manager now?

Meet Mr. Calendar. Mr. Calendar is my new boss. He and I sit down every week and plan out not just my daily activities, but my weekly, monthly, and even yearly activities. If you are going to work in the ministry and you don’t have a calendar, you will constantly be managing instead of achieving things. Get a calendar and start letting it be your boss.

With a calendar you should…

1.- Be able to plan all major events
This applies to our personal lives and our organizations. I know a church in Lima, Peru that in October prepares their calendar for the next year. By the first of December the calendar is prepared and printed for all the church members. Every meeting is already planned for the year. I know some Baptist pastors who are opposed to this. They say this limits the leading of the Spirit. I believe that with counsel and prayer the Holy Spirit can speak to us well in advance, and help us plan out the programs and meetings of our church. If anything we can see that in the Bible, God is a God of planning and organization.

2.-Give yourself a break.
Yes, perhaps this is one of the most important aspects of the calendar. Vane Havner said “If you don’t take time to come apart, you will just come apart.” This is very true and is one of the downsides to American culture. In American culture we take pride in being hard workers, being disciplined, and aggressively pursuing our dreams and goals. The downside is that we rest very little. We run at a high speed, tightly wound, and it shows up in the levels of stress, depression, and heart desease that we have as a culture. We need to rest. We need to rest weekly, and we need special times of rest throughout the year. You can see all of this in the Old Testament. They had the Sabbath and the feast days and weeks as special times for resting. Plan some time to rest and watch your productivity rise!

3.-Have special time for your family.
Many times we are so busy that we neglect our families. Spending time with family is important, so important that there should be time on your calendar for it. Don’t leave this time up to chance. Make time for your family, and put it on your calendar.

4.-Reduce anxiety.
We often experience anxiety over circumstances that we knew about, but because of the hustle and bustle of life, don’t plan ahead of time. The event, project, or deadline sneaks up on us and catches us unprepared. Working our calendar on a daily and weekly basis can help us reduce this anxiety and keep an eye on these important items.

5.-Reduce Guilt.
How many times have you gone out into your garage and thought “I need to clean this mess up,” only to go back into your garage the next day and think, “I need to clean this mess up.” Then maybe you said “I’m gonna clean this mess up next week,” but because you didn’t put it on your calendar and you never really had a set plan it never got done. You will go weeks with a messy garage and you will feel guilty every time you pass through it, thinking you are a failure. With the calendar you look at the mess in the garage, you look at the upcoming events, and you find a day and place it on your calendar. It’s there, so when you go into your garage and you think “This is such a mess!” you don’t have to feel guilty; you know that on Thursday the 23rd or whatever date you have chosen you are going to work on cleaning up the garage. You have a plan, and it is going to get done!

Brining it Home :

As ministers of the Gospel, and with souls in the balance, shouldn’t we take our duty seriously? Shouldn’t we want to make maximum use of our time for not only our benefit, but for the benefit of our people? A calendar can help us with this, and is the first step toward an organized and effective ministry.


  1. Ruth

    Thank you, Bro. Bateman, for sharing these posts. They have been very encouraging to me.

    • Shawn Bateman

      Thanks for letting me know! That encourages me that people are getting something of value.


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