365 Opportunities to Make a Difference
I gotta say, I am extremely excited about what could happen in 2022! As I was driving around this morning listening to worship music, I was filled with a great sense of optimism and possibility. 2021 was amazing! Here's a few moments among so many that we experienced.
I think we can see God do amazing things this year if we are faithful enough to step up and serve in some way. If we dare to dream big dreams about the future of these kids in our communities, then I believe those dreams can come true. So I am super excited, and I want to share my perspective with you on how we can bring it to life.
Here's the situation we find ourselves in:
We each have 365 days this year.
We have 52 weeks.
We have 12 months.
We have 4 quarters.
You have 365 opportunities in front of you.
What are you going to do with the time you have?
Well, let's take a look at how we usually spend our time as Americans.
1/3 of our time is spent sleeping.
Pro Tip: The right pillow is a game changer.
Also, consistency in your sleep schedule is important for optimal health.
1/3 of our time is spent at work.
How do you approach your work?
You’re either going to give 100%, learn more, develop yourself, take risks, solve problems, and help lots of people.
Or, you will go at half speed and let the opportunities pass you by.
A Gallup study done in 2021 showed that only 36% of workers were engaged and 15% were actively disengaged. (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/352949/employee-engagement-holds-steady-first-half-2021.aspx)
What’s the other 1/3 spent on?
Half of that 1/3 usually goes to leisure activities including:
Watching TV or movies
Friends and family
Exercise and fitness
Going on dates
The other half of that time goes to everything else. Things like:
Our kids needs
Phone calls, emails, mail
Driving and commuting
Appointments for health care
Volunteering! Which I will come back to.
So as a quick recap, 1/3 sleep, 1/3 work, 1/6 leisure activities, and 1/6 everything else!
As you can see, most of the things we do with our time is focused on taking care of ourselves and those closest to us.
Typically, we don’t do all of those activities I listed above. If you’re like me, you may have allocated more hours to eating last year than hitting the gym. (That’s one change I’m making this year!)
The question we should ponder is, how do these things end up on our calendar?
There are only two answers:
You’re intentional about how you use your time.
Or, you’re going to just let the hours go by and whatever happens, happens.
I've taken both of those approaches in different parts of my life.
When I talk to people, I know we all have things we wish we had done. Some of them may have gotten done if we would have put them on our calendar.
Also, when people ask us how we are doing, we often respond with “I’ve been really busy.” Most of us feel like we are too busy, and the truth is we are all busy doing something while we are awake.
The basic definition of the word busy is: having a great deal to do.
We're busy simply because we have plenty of options with how we can fill our time up. We can be busy waiting. We can be busy driving. We can be busy watching Netflix or playing XBox. We can be busy taking a nap. We can be busy knitting a sweater. We can be busy watching our favorite football team. Right now, I'm busy writing this blog post. There are a LOT of things we can do with our time.
We each have a list of things we wish we could do or could change in the world. Also, we don’t have any more time than anyone else, so we all have to make decisions about how our time will be spent.
Therefore, the only question is...
Are we spending our time on the most important things?
Let’s go back to volunteering for a moment.
At YFC, we know there are 30,000 young people in our community. We know half of them are battling either anxiety, depression, substance abuse, or suicide. That’s 15,000 of them! And the rest of them are battling other things. Each year, we work hard to bring Hope to as many of them as possible.
When I say WE, that includes every single person who is supporting the mission in some way; volunteering, giving, praying, providing space, advocating, etc. And we are grateful for all the wonderful supporters that we have. They do amazing things! It's a generous team that by our estimates includes a few thousand people!
As the Development Director for our chapter, I’m often asked, "what needs to be done to help more kids?" But we already know the answer to that question, don't we?
Our chapter needs:
More money to provide full-time staff leaders in each community and all the resources we provide for the kids.
More people donating their time - even if that’s one hour per week for awhile.
More people praying for these kids and leaders.
Basically, more people getting involved.
But how is that going to happen?
Step 1: We have to decide whether or not it's important TO US that the teenagers in our area meet Jesus.
That's the big question, right!?
As I was driving earlier today, I was reflecting on all the things I need to get done today. I'm busy, too. But as I drove by all the different houses, I wondered how many teenagers lived in each of them. And I wondered how we were going to reach them. I wondered how many of the Christians in our area think about that. And I wondered how I could help them think about that more.
If it's important to us that these kids become followers of Jesus rather than live their lives apart from Him, then we move on to Step 2.
Step 2: We have to place it on our schedule.
It has to be important to us; more important than something else we may put on it. If I say yes to helping a teenager this year, I will have to say no to something else.
I think it's important we understand that while we have a lot of support for our chapter, we need more people in our community actively engaging these kids as a volunteer mentor.
I work 6 days per week. I have 312 days that I have to figure out what I'm going to do with. Part of that decision making process includes deciding what I will NOT put on my schedule.
We can help more local youth if we all make it a priority and work together.
You know what Legos are right? Those little blocks that snap together. The things you may have stepped on if you have kids. Legos!
Think of a pile of Logos. Think of them as blocks of time.
24 of them would represent one day. 24 blocks of time.
8 of these blocks I am sleeping.
8 of them I’m working.
4 of them I’m taking care of things that have to get done.
So it’s these other 4 leisure time blocks that I have to decide what to do with.
I have 7 days of these each week which is 28 blocks plus two days I’m not working which gives me 16 more blocks.
So I have 44 decisions to make about how to spend my leisure time blocks.
Here’s my question to you:
Could 1 or 2 of them be set aside to help a teenager?
If yes, you should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk about what that looks like.
What if you don’t have time, but you do work 40 hours per week. In your month, you have 160 of those hours.
If you look at your hourly compensation, could you take one of those 160 hours and consider that as the time you’re giving to help a teenager. For the longest time, my compensation was $25 per hour.
Did you know?
For $25, we can provide one teenager with access to our facilities, amenities, resources, and mentors for two full weeks.
So donating that $25 per month (your hour) could make a huge difference in us reaching more kids.
In 2004, I got my first paid management job. I've been in management roles ever since and have a Masters in Business Administration. Here’s what I’ve learned about time management over the years...
We usually can’t change the big blocks of time in our lives. I still need to sleep, work and take care of my family.
It’s the little blocks where a difference can be made. It's in the small things. One or two hours - either of your time or money. That's what makes a difference!
If we had all our supporters giving a small portion of their time and money, then I know we would reach our current goal of helping 2000 kids every year meet Jesus. There’s no doubt!
We can do this! I believe it!
Imagine 2000 young people who were hurting being transformed by hope. That’s what we’re working towards!
So what is it going to take to get us excited about this? What will we do differently this year to help more of them? What can we change about our schedule that we could invest in something that has eternal significance?
We have 365 opportunities this year to help teenagers in our community. Let’s decide to work together to help as many as possible!
PS - If you'd like to get involved in some way, click the button below to learn more!