Thinking long term

20 09 2007

The temptation in ministry is always to focus on the immediate at the expense of the strategic or the long term. The immediate challenges of today and later in the week need to be attended too! We cannot spend our days with our head in the clouds, dreaming of a wonderful future whilst the tasks of today stack up. And yet what mostly happens is that the dreaming, the long term thinking disappears. Which is deeply problematic. Without that intentional long term thinking we can lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing. So we need to do both, we need to attend to the here and now and we need to from time to time lift our view to the horizon. How do we do this practically?


Imagine you are hiking out in the bush. As you make your way along the rough track, you are attentive of your immediate surroundings so as to avoid harmful creatures and ankle twisting holes. From time to time you stop, to take stock of your progress. You consult the map, the compass, you look to the horizon to view your goal perhaps. And then assured, you carry on.

In the same way we should programme into our week, a time where we pause and take stock of our progress.

And not only where am I going, but how am I going?

My pattern is to spend time most mornings thinking long term. This will involve a clear piece of paper a pen and the question, ‘what is important to do over the coming week, month, or year?’ I also from time to time take a day or two to consider something in detail and possibly write up some plans.

And what about your own life? What dreams do you have? What plans for the coming five years? Have you taken the time recently to reflect on how things are going?

Maybe the time has come to take a break and check your compass bearings?




One response

30 09 2007

Proverbs 16 said it all ^^

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