Worship Notes

"Sanctifying Your Time"

Webster's Dictionary defines success as "the achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted". Success means setting a goal, implementing a plan to meet that goal, and carrying it out to completion. But a goal is not truly a goal unless it has a time table attached to it. It is not enough to simply say, "I want to accomplish such-and-such". That is not truly a goal. It only becomes a goal once you say, "I want to accomplish such-and-such by such-and-such time".

I am a licensed pilot. I have had an interest in aviation all my life. My father has been a licensed pilot since around 1970. My uncle is a licensed pilot. And I have always wanted to be a pilot. But I didn't become a pilot until I was 28 years old. The reason I didn't become a pilot was that I had an aspiration, but not a goal. My aspiration did not become a goal until I said, "I want to be a pilot by January, 2004". And on January 20, 2004 I met my goal.

Let's apply this idea to ministry. The word "sanctify" means "to set apart". The only way we can meet our goals is by "sanctifying" our time...setting time aside for specific goals and meeting those goals in the specified alotted time. If you meet your goals by the specified time, then you have achieved success.

If your choir is supposed to be on stage for their Sunday morning pre-service soundcheck at 9am, then 9am is the time that you have "sanctified" for one specific goal - one specific purpose...and that purpose is your Sunday morning pre-service soundcheck. 9am has only one purpose - the start of the soundcheck...9am has been sanctified and set apart for that use and that use only. 9am has not been sanctified for driving to church - it has not been sanctified for taking your kids to the nursery - it has not been sanctified for pulling into the parking lot, or going to the restroom, or getting a drink of water. The only way we can achieve success is by sanctifying our time, then being disciplined enough to stick with our schedule and achieving our goals by their specified times.

Exhort your team with this information. If they want to be successful, then they need to be disciplined enough to sanctify their time. This is really just a fancy way of saying, "Stop showing up late". But it is also important to show them that there is a pattern that breeds success.

Here is another important point about sanctifying your time. For those of you who may have small church facilities, you may find that you are forced to run multiple services, or maybe that one or more rooms of your church may serve several different purposes at different times. This makes sanctifying your time all the more important.

I once worked for a church whose facility was much, much too small for their congregation. Because of this, many rooms of the church served more than one purpose. For example, on Sunday mornings the sanctuary was used for a Sunday School class, and the soundcheck for choir & band, and the main Sunday morning service. The Sunday School class went from 9:30am to 10:00am. The soundcheck went from 10:00am to 10:20am, and the main service started at 10:30am.

One Sunday morning, the Sunday School teacher was spending an inordinant amount of time driving home the importance of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It turned out that she knew that one of the ladies in the class was not baptized in the Spirit, and so she was trying to compel her to receive it. The class ended up dismissing at almost 10:15, leaving us only 5 minutes for our soundcheck. Because of the inadequate soundcheck, we had several problems that ended up significantly disrupting the main service several times. This Sunday School teacher's failure to sanctify her time ended up interfering with the rest of the morning's ministry.

The point is this. Part of sanctifying our time requires us to trust that the Holy Spirit can accomplish His agenda in the time we give Him. You see, that Sunday School teacher met up with that lady after service that morning and spoke with her personally about receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The lady received the baptism right there and then. It turns out that the teacher did not have to run her class over time in order to accomplish her goal. She should have just trusted that the Holy Spirit could accomplish His agenda, regardless of her time table.

Keep these ideas in mind when you are running multiple Sunday services. Trust that God can accomplish what He needs to accomplish in the First Service, so that you are not running over time into the Second Service.

Finally, remember this. It is no less rude and inappropriate for you to run over into someone else's time, as it is for them to start early and cut you short. Sanctify your time so you can achieve success!