I actually get sick of prayer meetings.
I know, I'm not supposed to say that. But I've run into so many young adults, and even old adults that think they are young adults who are still "praying" about their next decision, still "waiting-on-God" to provide for them a spouse, a house, a job, a German shepherd, etc.
While there is a place for praying about decisions and waiting on the Lord, I want to pull the pendulum back a bit and talk about getting things done. It's not enough to want to change the world...but you actually have to start moving in that direction, or any direction. Just start moving!
Know when to be efficient and when to be productive.
If you type in ‘efficiency’ in Amazon, you'll find 23,000 results (and climbing). The reason for this is because everyone wants to be efficient. Who wouldn't want to get more done with less time?! The truth is you can be incredibly efficient, but get nothing of worth done (productive). Productivity is all about getting the most output (or the best output) from the least amount of input. Efficiency is just doing tasks right.
Prayer is productive… finding the most efficient acronym to use in prayer is not. Spending time with people is productive…creating email auto-responses is efficient. Learning to speed-read is efficient, but joining a book club where you are simmering in those ideas will be productive. You need both, but you have to decide where you need efficiency, and where you need productivity.
Listen to God's voice.
This is your typical Church answer. Listening to the voice of God is productive, but it is NOT efficient. There are efficient things we can do (schedule time to be alone with God, structure alone time with worship, journaling, etc). But the truth is, listening to God is mysterious. And we only get good at it by trial and error. Here's one thing you can do to hear God better. Go to the mall, sit in the food court, and ask God to tell you who to talk to. Then do it! Bring a friend if that makes you nervous. You'll fumble, lose your nerve, get uncomfortable, but you may also hear God.
Make SMART goals.
Now back to what you can do. After hearing from God, set up a goal. Not just any goal...a SMART goal.
T- Time Sensitive
We normally make wishes. A wish is, "I wish God would lead me to Paris." A smart goal is-"Apply for Paris Internship by setting aside 2-3 hours on my laptop to have completed by July 23." Let's break this down:
Specific - Apply for Paris Internship
Measurable - Completed by July 23
Achievable - Setting Aside 2-3 hours
Realistic - Work on laptop
Time Sensitive - July 23rd deadline
SMART goals are powerful because they break down the big idea into specific steps. God is still in control. He'll either open the door, or redirect your path. Whatever the results, you can trust God with the outcomes, but be obedient with your part.
You might have an incredible, God-given dream, but if you don't do anything, you'll never get there. Small steps can lead to big outcomes, but you have to start moving. What's your dream? Take a step toward it and trust that God will take you the rest of the way.
Stop reading this and get going!
Nithin Thompson is the Teaching Pastor at Liquid Church which is located in Morristown, NJ. Nithin is a graduate of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. When he's not pastoring you can find him hanging out with his wife Jackie and trying to catch Pokemon with his daughter Selah and son Wesley. He blogs on SojournIntoExile.com.