Take a moment and think about what you really need to accomplish today.  Identify the 3 most important activities you can accomplish in a 24-hour period that will move your ministry forward.  Now write those out!

I conducted an experiment in 2020 and purchased two different Muju black books.  One is larger, about 5″x8″ and the other smaller about 4″x6″.

  • The larger book I call my Gratitude Book.  Each day I record 3 things I am grateful for, to remind myself of God’s active involvement in my life, His sovereignty and grace!
  • The Smaller book I call my Top 3 Book.  Each day I do the exercise I opened up with at the start of this blog.

I repeat this exercise Monday-Friday (and sometimes on the weekend).

What has been the results of my notebook experiment?

  • I am seriously less stressed-out. 
    • Coincidentally, my experiment overlapped with the Covid virus which was in the back of everyone’s mind.  It was and continues to be an unpredictable time in our society and globally.  Questions about safety, financial viability and leadership from all-sectors of society scramble my thought life.  But this simple exercise created a moment of clarify that focused my day!
  • I am seriously more productive.
    • In the midst of a typical day if I am honest – the highs, the lows and the mundane sap the energy and joy from my soul.  Keeping this list before me, in addition to the other already planned activities of the day, was like a breath of fresh air.  I can always say at the end of the day – “Well done!”
  • I am seriously more purposeful.
    • I wanted to say “more missional” but that is such an over-used term it can lose it’s meaning.  What I mean by purposeful is that these 3 activities, based upon my best understanding of what will move the mission of God forward, will have the greatest impact.  Regardless of your particular field you can apply this to your context and feel like you are about the Lord’s work – discovering what God is already at work doing and partnering with Him on His mission.

Let’s play this out in real time!

What if you took out a piece of paper – right now.  And you wrote-out 3 things you are Grateful for:  They might be random things like:

  1. your health
  2. your family
  3. the chance to serve God through your work

Now take another piece of paper and write-out the Top 3 activities or tasks that will move your ministry forward.  They might include:

  1. call a leader that you need to foster a relationship with in your church.
  2. write an e-mail to a board member
  3. mail a check to a vendor

Reflection Questions to Consider:

  • How can you improve on what you are already doing?
  • What could this give you that you don’t already have?
  • What one thing will increase your effectiveness today?

This is not simply a work smarter – not harder idea!


A Spiritual Exercise

I approach this activity as a spiritual exercise.  I want to hear what God has to say about my day and the absolute best way I can partner with Him.  This has the desired effect of putting things in perspective and joy in my soul.


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