Wise Practices: How Do You Prioritize And Plan Your Week?

Wise Practices: How Do You Prioritize And Plan Your Week?

Our current letter series “Wise Practices” aims to share practical knowledge and wisdom to help us grow as doers of the word. Each letter will share applied methods and answer a ‘how.’ These practices are not perfect or comprehensive. They are personal testimonies; shared knowledge and wisdom gained through pursuit and service that helped facilitate growth in our lives. We pray they help you grow as well.

One of the challenges that every believer faces is how to prioritize our time. Even personally, I struggled to “find time” to write this elder letter. Jesus followers not only face the same responsibilities and tensions that all other humans face regarding time, but also have the added calling to live for God above all else. You’ve heard the old adage, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is true for me. If I’m not intentional and disciplined I will move from being proactive to completely reactive. So, how do I prioritize and plan my week? Here are a few thoughts…

Ask God for Help:

Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Often I start with being overwhelmed with the tasks and responsibilities in front of me instead of starting with prayer and dependance. Daily we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom, intentionality, sensitivity, and clarity of purpose in the way we approach our time.

Keep God First:

Jesus tells us that above and before everything else we do or pursue, to keep God first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). It’s easy for the projects, needs of my family, tasks, and meetings to capture my attention. I need to daily remind myself that I live for Jesus, and my greatest priority is to abide in and live for Him.

Live by Daily Bread:

Another challenge for me is to not give my full attention to what’s ahead (this afternoon, this week, etc.), but be present in the moment with the person God has in front of me. I’m not promised tomorrow, so I want to live fully for Jesus today, in the here and now.

Create a Calendar Built on Priorities and Rhythms:

To help one another and our family, Katie and I have built consistent rhythms into our weekly, monthly, and annual calendar that prioritize God’s kingdom in our family’s lives. We start with abiding, family discipleship, pursuing God’s family, and gospel ministry, and work our way out from there.

Be Okay with Saying No:

I often get asked how I balanced being a full-time husband, father, pastor, and Ph.D student. The simple answer to this question is I said no to many things that were good, but non-essential. By non-essential, I mean things that are not centered on God’s kingdom or things that fall under my sphere of responsibility.

Serve God’s Family:

This might seem like a strange priority to add to the list, but it’s one that is often being neglected in churches today. God’s Word says a lot about prioritizing our investment in God’s people (John 13:34-35; Gal 6:10; Eph 4:12-15; Heb 6:10-11). I have found that when I give and make time to invest in and make disciples, my life is filled with more joy, purpose, and productivity because it’s centered on others, not self.

Take Time for Gratitude:

It’s easy for me to see what is going wrong and harder for me to see God’s kindness, faithfulness, and goodness at work in and around my life. I try to take time throughout my week to write down the things I’m grateful for and how I am seeing God’s grace at work in my life each week. It helps keep my heart centered when I’m prone to drift.

Dr. Paul Mermilliod

Elder Oversight Team / Lead Pastor, Leadership and Development 

Pastor Paul has been a part of the Tri-Cities family for nearly all his life and now serves as Leadership Pastor. He and Katie have been married since 2006 and have four children: Jack, Evie, Camden, and Tripp.