Posts Tagged ‘Gregg Harris’

Every second counts…

November 7, 2008

Good is the enemy of best. There are tons of good things that come along. We could fill our day with things that are good and never end up doing what is best.

As the older we get and the more influence we have, more opportunities will present themselves. It’s a responsibility to learn to manage our time and influences well.

This is a struggle that I deal will constantly. I have a pregnant wife, two babies, I am a small business owner, an operations manager for non-profit ministry, on the preaching rotation at church, and a student taking 16 units (3 of which are Greek)…oh yeah, and I do this Paul and Timothy stuff. I say all this to illustrate the potential over-busyness of my life.

My wife has asked me before if I think we will ever be less busy. I am always trying to gently let her down with my answer. But the truth is, being entrusted with more is a blessing and a gift. After the two servants were faithful with their talents, their master said to them, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much,” (Matthew 25:21, 23). They were given more to steward. God is using our season of life to prepare us for the next one. The household is an incubator for church leadership. Managing a local church well comes from managing a household well (being faithful with a household leads to the opportunity to be faithful as an elder).

So what do we do? Many successful, honorable, godly, older man have told me about the value of planning. Gregg Harris calls it the Noble Planner (an MP3 of his teaching on planning can be found here). Gregg spends every Sunday afternoon planning his week. He sits down with his family after church and they plan what is best for them to do in a given week. Gregg plans on spending alone time with every member of his family every week.

CJ Mahaney talks about it in the Sovereign Grace leadership series. Mahaney is very protective over his time. He says that he will not flex his schedule, save an emergency. Mahaney plans time into his schedule to free up his wife to study, and then he creates reading lists for her.

John Piper has said that he purposely only goes to the church office once a week. He knows that his home office study is the “safest” place to get the most work done with his time.

As pastors, the nature of their job requires that they be flexible to deal with crisis in the lives of the Saints. When those crisis’ arise, they become the best thing they can do with their time.

Begin to view time as something that you have to invest. Invest your time in the place that is going to yield the greatest return. Or to use another analogy, plant your time where it will bring forth the most fruit.

Here are some practical suggestions:

      1. Begin planning out your week. Sit down on Sunday afternoon and in light of worship, fellowship, and the ministry of the Word, plan out what is best to do with your time the coming week.

      2. Start using a calendar. Whether it’s a physical paper planner or something on your computer, use something to help manage your time. I use Google calendar, because it is internet based (I can access it anywhere), I can share it with owther Google users, my wife can easily add items to it, and I can receive email or text message alerts.

      3. Help your wife to find time to read and study. Free her up and make her reading lists.

       4. Learn to say no while still being sensitive to the leading of the Spirit to “walk in the good works that have been prepared beforehand.”

       5. View the importance of the different areas that you have been given stewardship over. Your children and wife are way more important than Greek paradigms.


Mentoring is a Biblical Mandate

September 24, 2008

A morning favorite for me to read is Tim Challies “A La Carte.” This morning Tim put this blurb up:

“On Monday my pastor spoke to a local pastors fellowship on the importance of mentoring young men. I’m sure any pastor could benefit from listening to or reading his paper.”

This is exactly what we are all about. The number one answer, short answer, that I have been giving to the question, “What is the conference about?” is this: It is about the importance of pastors, seasoned ministers, elders, preachers to mentor young men. So when I read Tim’s blog this morning I was glad to see others are ministering towards the same goal we are.

Paul W. Martin, founding pastor of Grace Fellowship Church (Tim’s church) in Toronto encouraged pastors to seek out young men whom they can mentor. The nature of the command to be training men to carry on faithful gospel ministry–as well as some practical advice on how to develop mentoring relationships–are explored.

Paul Martin has written a wonderful article. I have read through it once and I already consider it a valuable resource. I have forwarded the article to Gregg and the other brothers involved in the conference.

Mr. Martin says that mentoring is a biblical mandate. Mr. Martin says:

“…every pastor must, in some capacity, be involved in training the next generation of pastors.”


Gregg Harris has said that everyone should be training their replacement. That is exactly what Paul is telling Timothy to do in 2Timothy 2:2:


“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also”


Paul is saying, “You have seen how I do what I do. Now, go do what I do. And, while you do it, show someone else how to do it.” Paul was ministering with Timothy by his side. Now Paul is telling Timothy to minister with someone by his side.


Mentoring is the biblical pattern:


  • Moses/Joshua
  • Elijah/Elisha
  • Jehoiada/Joash
  • Jesus/the Twelve
  • Paul/Timothy


Mentoring is for our good fellow Timothys. Many of us are being stuffed full and doctrine and theology and don’t know what to do with it all.


Martin says:


I can confidently say that 99.997% of men in seminary will experience significant failure apart from a mentoring…How much heartache in our churches could be avoided if our pastors were actively mentoring their replacements?!”


We could not agree more with these statements. We need seasoned minister of the word in our life. We need to be in the local church. Theology and doctrine hit the pavement in the local church. There is no substitute for it.


We commend Paul Martin, and we highly recommend the article that he wrote. The full article, as well as the audio of Mr. Martin’s address can be found here.