When was the last time someone asked you how your day was? What was your response? I bet that at least once in the last week you responded with “busy.”
Whether your involvement in ministry is for your job or something you do as a volunteer, there is one thing that is certain: you don’t ever seem to have enough time. So how do you increase ministry fruitfulness when you are already too busy as it is?
Below are three practices for your busy life that will increase ministry fruitfulness without adding a single minute to your busy day.
1. Confess the need for margin in your life
Firstly, if you want to increase your ministry fruitfulness, start by admitting the need to slow down and do less. Practice the discipline of saying "no" more often, even to requests to serve. We need wiggle room to operate, not just in our schedule, but in our hearts and minds too. If we are at mental, energy, and relationship capacity, where is there room to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit?
Take Jesus for example. In Capernaum, Jesus had an entire town at His door looking for His help.
“When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to Him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door.” Mark 1:32-33
And what did He do?
“Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed. Simon and those who were with Him pursued Him and on finding Him said, ‘Everyone is looking for You!’ He told them, ‘Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” Mark 1:35-38
Jesus said "no" to the requests to heal sick and needy people. In the midst of all that seemingly good work, He said “no” and created margin for Himself and the disciples.
How does margin increase Jesus’ ministry fruitfulness? And how can it increase yours?
Stop now and ask yourself, "What is one thing I can give up to build margin into my week?" If you have trouble letting go of anything, take a moment to pray through the following three lies we tell ourselves that keep us operating without personal margin.
2. Live prayerfully
Prayer is one of the primary tools God gives us to increase our ministry fruitfulness. But we often overcomplicate it and when things get complicated, they don’t get done. So rather than thinking of prayer as a noun or a verb, think of it as an adverb for a change: do everything you do prayerfully.
Below are a few practical ways you can live prayerfully.
If you go about your normal living praying your way through your day, then you don’t actually have to add it to your list as something extra to do. It just becomes the way you do everything you already do.
3. Fast regularly
Fasting sounds like an intimidating spiritual discipline for some of us. We often think of rabbis going long stretches without food. We feel like we have to build up to it and prepare ourselves for it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Think of fasting in skipping a meal once per week and replacing that with one of these activities.
Talk about a remedy for busy people!
There you have it. Three things you can do to increase your ministry fruitfulness without adding a single minute to your already busy schedule.