Time Management: Count the Cost  by Kurt Johnston


“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ ”  —Jesus

“Cost Management.”

The context of Jesus’ words in the above passage isn’t time management; it’s cost management. And even though the example he uses is a financial one, he’s talking about something way deeper, specifically the price to be paid for following Jesus.

Everything you decide to do with your time has a cost…there is a price to be paid. And although the cost can certainly be counted in time spent, that is only part of the equation, and there are often deeper things to consider. So this week I want to ask you to re-think your idea of time management. As you make plans and decide what to do with your time I’d like you to, as Jesus suggested, consider the cost.

– What is the cost of spending two hours with a hurting student?

– What is the cost of choosing not to?

– What is the cost of spending four hours on your Sunday school lesson?

– What is the cost of choosing to “wing it” instead?

– What is the cost of ditching out of the office early for your son’s game?

– What is the cost of missing a game?

– What is the cost of asking for an extra day off because you’ve been swamped?

– What is the cost of sucking it up and “powering through”?

– What is the cost of saying yes to an additional responsibility at church?

– What is the cost of saying no?

In life and ministry there is a cost, a price to be paid, for everything. And most of the time you get to decide if the price to be paid is worth it.

Choosing to be a cost manager instead of a time manager is certainly a different way of looking at things. It’s not a perfect approach, and it may not be the right approach for you. You may be more of a day-timer person, and I’d never try to get you to re-think your strategy if it’s working for you.

But because so many youth workers struggle with getting a handle on traditional time management, I thought it would be fun to share a non-traditional look at the topic. Do with it what you want.

I’ve gotta go. It’s Friday afternoon, and even though I have lots on my plate, I’m gonna go surf for three hours. Yep, I counted the cost and decided it’s worth it!

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