Monday, May 11, 2009

The Most Important Five Percent

Wayne Cordeiro, in his book Leading on Empty (Bethany House: 2009, pp. 77-79) discusses what he calls “The Most Important Five Percent.” He points out that eighty-five percent of what we do as ministry leaders, anyone can do: “checking email, answering messages, attending meetings, reading the newspaper or trade journals, and making simple decisions.” He writes: “Many of those tasks can be delegated to others so we can concentrate on what’s most important to the job we have been given to do.” Someone else could be trained to do ten percent of what we do.

But then he writes: “But 5 percent of what I do, only I can do! This is the most important 5 percent for me. I can’t delegate these initiatives to anyone else. I can’t hire someone else to take my place in any of these activities because they require that I be there! This 5 percent will determine the validity of the other 95 percent….My 5 percent may differ from yours, but the principle is transferable to everyone—married, single, widowed, old, or young. It is true for those with children, empty nesters, or young couples just starting out in life.”

Cordeiro determined what his last 5 percent would include. “What were the things that only I could do and, if neglected, would affect the rest of my life?” He came up with this list:

1. A vibrant, growing relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2. A healthy and genuine relationship with my spouse
3. An authentic family that is close to God and close to one another
4. A God-pleasing ministry
5. A physically healthy body and a creative soul
6. Taking time to enjoy life with family and friends

“It will not necessarily be the 85 percent that will shape your future, or the 10 percent that will build your legacy. It may impress the world, it may burnish your resume, but it won’t impress God as much as that all-important 5 percent. Your choice of what is most important will shape your soul.”

(The Timothy Report,, May 11, 2009)

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