Redeem the Time


We are challenged by the Word of the Lord to “redeem . . . the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16). “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5). I encourage every elder and every church to do so. Let me share a few suggestions with you. 

Dedicate yourself afresh to a daily walk with the Lord. Pray, read the Bible, live by biblical concepts and principles, and keep your heart open and attuned to the Lord. Ask the Lord to guide your every step. Determine that you will stay in fellowship with the Lord every day.

Give yourself to soul-winning. Become a part of the team of soul-winners who will be actively working in 2012. You’ll be amazed at how God can use you—and you’ll be even more amazed at what blessings come to you as a soul-winner. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Prov. 11:30). 

Stop rehearsing past hurts and failures. If you are nursing an old wound, let it go. The past is past. You have today, and with God’s help, you can make it beautiful. Don’t let some ugly thing from yesterday steal your joys for today and your hopes for tomorrow. As you enter this new year, look up and look forward. 

Share the vision of your pastor. You’ll do well to discover your pastor’s dreams for your church and for reaching your area for Christ. Let yourself in on that vision and dream with your pastor. Invest yourself in bringing that dream to reality. Walk side-by-side with your pastor. Work with and stand beside him or her.

Trust the Lord. You can’t foresee every shadow that will fall across your path. No matter what, though, you can trust Him. Jesus never leaves you or forsakes you. When darkness surrounds you, trust Him. When your burdens grow heavy, trust Him. When you don’t know the answers and can’t explain the circumstances, trust Him. Just keep trusting! 

Set goals, make plans, and dream again! Goals are important! If you have a great cause, then you ought to have worthy goals. As we begin this new year, let’s set goals for attendance, souls saved, baptisms, and so on. Make your goals reasonable and achievable, but do get them in place. Let everybody know what you intend to do. Be excited about your goals and make plans that will assure you of reaching your goals. Don’t be afraid to dream again. Get up, set goals, make plans, and let your dreams become reality in this new year. 

Develop a 52-week plan. Make sure something is happening in all seasons. Plan a variety of activities and a balanced program for your church. Make programs for winter, spring, summer, and fall. Make December a month of Christmas-related activities. Make folks want to stay in church and get involved! Keep things happening every week of the year! 

Start something new. Organize a new Bible class in your church, or establish a new ministry that meets a need. Find a way to make it happen. Now is the time! When there is time, there is opportunity—and we must not waste time or opportunity (Matt. 10:27).

We know what to do. We cannot be silent. A new year—366 days—is before us! Let’s not lose it in lethargy! Let’s run the race excitedly and fervently. In the new year, let’s redeem the time! 

JONAS ARRAIS | General Conference Associate Ministerial Secretary