Most church leaders have a limited amount of time to give to leadership. Those in full-time ministry (ministers, preachers, or elders) often give 60 hours or more each week. Church leaders who are retired from secular employment may devote significant time each week. But most church leaders have limited amounts of time to devote to their volunteer work as church leaders.
How does one allot a limited amount of time and accomplish all that is needed? Here is a helpful exercise.
Analyzing the Seven "M's"
Leaders, how much time do you spend in the seven "M's"? What do you think is an appropriate amount of time to spend each week? What are your priorities? What is the best distribution of these activities for you?
How is your ministry? How do you do ministry? Each Christian should have a personal ministry. This category reflects time spent in your personal involvement in ministry activities, benevolence, evangelism, teaching, etc. Your personal ministry is an essential part of your leadership because of the importance of the example you provide for the flock. Personal preparation for teaching or preaching usually goes here rather than under personal spiritual maturity.
Are any additional comments required? Meetings can be a real "time eater". For many church leaders, attendance at church activities and attendance at meetings represent a majority of the time spent in Christian leadership. (I have placed church attendance under personal spiritual maturity, but each person can decide how to characterize various activities. To arrive at an accurate measure of time spent in leadership, make certain that each activity is included in only one category.)
This area can also be called training. Mentoring refers to time spent with others helping them develop Christian skills. This is hands-on demonstration, time spent together in training activities, sharing church activities for the purpose of developing others. This is helping others grow, facilitating the ministry of the members, equipping and training. Taking others with you to visit or to a Bible study; teaching training classes, meeting with deacons or teachers to explain the task, how things can be done, etc.
This is often called shepherding. Included are visits, care for absentees and delinquents, contacts and phone calls to members, sending cards. This may also include teaching a Bible class that is designed to address shepherding issues, or a small group focused on shepherding.
Some would call this area missional. This may be both missional things such as evangelism and mission which reaches out with the gospel. This is your personal involvement in missional activities, outreach, missions, and evangelism.
This refers to activities that develop your personal spirituality or spiritual maturity. This is where your own personal Bible reading, study, prayer go. Generally, also included in this item is your attendance at Bible classes and worship.
Maturity refers to the spirituality of the leader. Maturing describes the leader's involvement in helping others toward spiritual maturity. Here is time spent helping others mature, teaching them, and one-on-one time that is spiritually focused in personal spiritual development.