Posts Tagged ‘bethel’

 There are so many good materials on time management that I have read over the past decade. As a pioneer it seems to be one of the subjects that is constantly having to be defined and then redefined because your activities of how you commit your time consistantly evolve when you are in pioneer mode.

I myself have gone through dramatic shifts every year I have pioneered and have had to constantly reset to my original boundaries and priorities. I haven’t had a good 8 hour session of video games in a long time…because I haven’t prioritized it…but I digress.

Up until the time when we came to Hollywood I had never seen time as a commodity in my life. I always seemed to be able to find time for everything before…time for family and friends, time for projects, time for every ministry appointment, time for creating….then we moved here and as I started the real purpose I was made for I began to fill up my calendar with so many things that I had no time. I constantly realized that I never had extra time or breaks unless I made them.


As a pioneer you must have clear priorities on your time. You have to know what are the important things you are working on and bring every day back to that focus. If you don’t do this the great needs of the world, people’s brokenness, projects that are just one-off projects that don’t build anything but feel good, and all kinds of other things will come in and use your energy but they won’t necessarily establish the fulfillment of your priorities.

One thing our leadership counselor had us do is establish the top 3 priorities in our relationships and then our jobs and manage our time around these. It helped immensely because I realized how much I was doing that did not match my core values of what I am supposed to be doing and I was letting way too many life fillers in to my time. That is just crazy but it becomes clear when you have priorities set.


It’s so easy to feel good helping people with problems or to help them get established in life or values. Lots of leaders get a rush out of helping someone break through their problems. This is great, but do you have the same energy or more for your core life relationships.

We all have spheres of relationships we have to build. There is our core relationship (wife/husband/bestest friend in all the world) then there is 3-5 other friendships/family that we do real life with, we sacrifice for, we celebrate, we endure hardship with, etc. Then there are 5-12 others that we check in with through work and projects but they tend to transcend these projects or work in their nature and become lifers. Then there is everyone else. If you don’t have clear spheres of relationship in your mind then you begin to violate the boundaries of love that you have for one and substitute another in their place and your relationships get very out-of-order.

Most pioneers feel justified sacrificing their core few relationships from time to time for the sake of helping someone or working hard. It just feels right to put everything on the back burner because we are accomplishing the foundation of our mission and once that foundation is set we will revert back to a better normal. Maybe we will have finally be established enough financially or management structure wise so we feel great just working really hard right past the very life we are trying to build. Do you see it? You stop honoring your core relationships the same way for the sake of building something in hopes that you will bring greater honor to those very relationships later? Your main relationships don’t need you later they need you now and you need them!

I have done that especially in regards to forgetting to send birthday cards or make calls on significant days of my friends and family outside of what I am building. I even wasn’t there a few crises times of my core life friends because I was helping the whole world and my relationships got disconnected and suffered because of my messiah complex. Then in significant times during my life people who I cared about stopped celebrating me with the same enthusiasm and I also had people who were no longer there when I was going through a hard time who were always there. Why? Because I had changed my value for them by my prioritizing them out of my core. I never used words, but what I spoke through action communicated volumes. It’s hard to get these back but if your kids, your family, your best friends outside of what you are building (and sometimes inside) are getting disconnected you are not building right.


If you are setting your priorities then no matter what :you are in charge of how you get to spend your time establishing those priorities. Some of you are working under a job description someone has given you while many or most of you are probably establishing your own job description. I would encourage you to do that in the most clear way, define how many hours it takes you to do what you do each week, keep a little time journal for a month and look back on what was consuming your time and see if it lines up with your relational and work priorities. If you are your own boss, manage yourself as part of your management structure and be disciplined with your own time.

For me I have to pour into a team of 7 as my main priority in Expression58 plus build two departments with department leaders. This is like having 3 part-time jobs so they must have grace for my time schedule and I theirs. I also barely get paid for any of this, but have been doing it as a volunteer which means my itinerant job will have to take priority from time to time. We all have difficult arrangements in pioneering that will affect our priorities in time management. Maybe you work a job and run your ministry, maybe you don’t raise enough money through your budget to hire team so you have a lot of volunteers that don’t work with your enthusiasm yet, etc. There are always complications when pioneering that affect how your overall organization meets its priorities and how time is used.

I have to spend my time with my main leaders, so when I have the 300 people ask me for an appointment in LA I have made a list of them and I first look at my core relationships I am committed too and see if I have spent the right amount of time with them. I have their faces up on a graphic that I can look at every week and pray into their lives and see what kind of coaching, friendship, mentoring, love I can give them. If I feel like I am meeting those needs then I move on to my long list of people who want to meet.


As a pioneer leader you will always have lots of people who want to meet with you. I make a list when I get a card or contact of someone who wants to connect and ask myself a few questions: 1) Is this someone I have the time to meet with. Have they been involved with us for a while or are they just wanting a connection? 2) Can someone else on my team meet with them to bring them up to speed with who we are and how we can connect further 3) Do they have something they are offering? Do we need what they have to offer right now? Can it fit within our time priorities or would we have to slow down what God has us focused on to bring what they have to us? 4) Or are they needing something and if they are am I the right person to give it to them? 5) Are they a happily relational person who has successful time management skills so they are coming to me out of their strength or are they needing discipleship in which case I might need to point them somewhere before we connect in a more significant way so that they don’t have false expectations?

Now understand for me I know what I don’t do so I have a great filter when people are talking to me and asking me for something. I don’t do counseling appointments, I do very little personal discipleship outside of my team, I don’t do advisory boards very often, I won’t become an intercessor for someones project. I don’t marry people, I don’t do hospital visitations, I don’t visit people in jail, I don’t speak at youth groups, singles conferences, or young adult focused meetings. In other words like I said, I know what I don’t do so I can clearly tell someone when they are coming to me asking for something or wanting to connect their talent, skill, or ability to us, as one of the figure heads of who our community is it is my role to be a funnel of relationship and help them to know who can help them or where the connection lay. I have raised up people who do all the things I don’t do and you can too.

I also know what I do focus on. I do leadership consultation, I release prophetic ministry, I work on entertainment projects as an advisory, I write articles and books and stories, I do a lot of impartation and prayer ministry, I do outreach, I do team discipleship, etc. So when someone comes across my path and if I can help them in an area of my strength or expertise I am glad to if I have the time for it.


The problem with relationship time management is that if I give my time to someone who has needs other than the people I have prioritized then often times I will have to follow all the way through their issue until its done. This means a marriage that breaks down becomes my responsibility to help if I allow them to start the counseling process with me instead of help them find someone who can really spend the time and energy it takes to break through in that issue. This can turn into a 20-200 hour time consumer. Now for someone who has a passion to help marriages or a counselor, this is what they want to do and what they will be good at and it will not take away from their time but is part of their time priorities do you see? 

If you begin to do the crises management of your group then you will lose most of your best energy to putting out fires. I know leaders who ten years later still find themselves putting out fires that are basically a fire started by pettiness on the team that would be better managed by doing some character building then crises management later. If you live in crises management mode your prioritized relationships will be violated. If you find yourself dealing with more than 2 crises a year that take real-time and energy I challenge you that have taken on a wrong role. Maybe I will write a blog on team or ministry crises management sometime.


What happens to those good things that fall through the cracks because your time management didn’t include them? Either you as a pioneer can raise someone up to take care of them through hiring an assistant, having an associate leader, raising up team, etc. or it wasn’t as important for you to take on in this stage of your life in the first place. I don’t mean the opportunity wasn’t real or important but was it for you now? When you are walking in what you are called to do you will always have a cycle of great opportunities come to you….your responsibility is not just to say yes to everything. Your responsibility is to learn out of your own value for an amazing life, what makes sense for right now. As a successful person you will say no sometimes even more than yes to opportunities. Train yourself now to protect and guard what you have said yes to so you can become excellent and successful to that even if by saying no to an opportunity that seems huge makes you feel like you are missing something. If you stay committed to your original plan out of faithfulness you will see results that taking on other projects or opportunities and cycling through them will never give you. Picture marriage…if you are married your heart is off the market to any other person so if something that seems great comes along you easily let it go because of your covenant commitment and your history to what you are committed too.

Sometimes amazing people fall through the cracks of your time management, but just because people are amazing doesn’t mean they are your relationship sphere or that you need to take time for them now. Some of my best opportunities to meet with people came when I was already committed to other things so I had to trust God and my own value in what I was building and say no. This is a really hard one for pioneers because we are dependent on building our relational sphere in order to create more opportunities, finances, etc. Its hard to get by in to what we are doing if we don’t meet with the right people at the right time but you know what? If you are relationaly successful you will keep attracting the right kind of people to what you are building. Its more important to be faithful to the relationships that you are clearly called to cultivate than to keep adding new appointments in hopes that new areas may or may not open up for your calling or purpose.


When you set good boundaries to your time you actually fulfill what you are called to do. I hope that you find yourself successful in your time management!!!

That’s it for now,

Shawn Bolz


One good time management book is called MARGINS

My Dating Book, The Non Religious Guide To Dating & Being Single, came out in a digital release and is soooo good! It will be out in printed release Valentines Day. If you want to preorder it you can starting next week! If you want to carry it in your resource center or bookstore contact Andrea Bocks at and she will tell you how to order bulk.


Welcome to my SPIRITUAL PIONEER blog which is all about us sharing a journey together about what it is to pioneer and rebrand Christianity. I am going to try and be vulnerable about my own journey in planting a ministry base and also local church in Los Angeles. My hope is that I can begin to communicate to other pioneers and we can share our struggles and joys whether you are in the South, in Canada, across the Ocean, live around Los Angeles, or even in Hollywood. Feel free to comment and ask Questions. As always if you have something extremely negative to say feel free to private email me instead of posting message.

A funny thing happened on the way to the club where we have our church on Sunday mornings….(we call the children’s room “the Love Lounge” because it’s so skanky but its been a good temporary place). I had gone to Disneyland the day before with some friends (Props to Trish, Cherie, Heather, Scottie, and my Sister Jennifer…I was heavily outnumbered by estrogen) and I found out I was speaking that night….oops. That means by 10PM I had to spend limited time with God to figure out what I was supposed to speak on which I hate to do! I like to know the Monday before and then every day pray into and figure it out, especially when I am not just doing one of my old life messages but building into the season we are in. I switched topics about fifteen times and even considered the fact that the church is down in giving by about $10,000 this month because of recession in LA (the end of the year has about killed us financially but we are winning the war in our hearts). I knew that wasn’t the right thing to touch on especially because our people are givers and don’t need extra Christmas pressure.

Then finally, as often happens, God dropped the beginning of a message in me like the first line in a book. “A Father’s role is not to establish your purpose and vision for you, but to provide an environment where he helps you identify who you are and then brings boundaries with you to protect your journey of exploration into your own truth about that. He is supposed to allow you to be a visionary and dreamer, not substituting his dreams for yours but actually dreaming with you your dreams and making sure to help guide you in priorities in finances in family commitments and to stay the course to accomplish your powerful vision and desire.” and I had the scriptures that backed me up…so cool! I went to bed excited even though I only had that much thinking “I will spend time in the morning with Jesus and get the rest…this is good!”

Then I woke up and realised I had set my alarm for PM not AM and it was 9AM and I was supposed to be there early to help the team with anything service and I started running around freaking out that I couldn’t find clean socks or an ironed shirt and felt like I was catching the flu (which formed into a full virus in me) and I had lost all the energy that was my message….oops. I got in the car after posting on my facebook my ETA (which included a Starbucks run of course or no one would have wanted to see me…I needed the power of God AND caffeine) and I almost lost my salvation and ministry over an old woman driver in front of me who had forgotten how to drive or never learned in America. Then I FINALLY got on the highway while listening to Christmas music and it occurred to me:

God needs to take us on a journey as a ministry and as a church of really knowing each other. Most of my church team have been involved with other churches for long seasons before us and came with us to LA or transferred too us, my leaders have lead other places, our worship teams have been involved with other worship teams, but we are just now on our own journey of gaining our own identity as a corporate people. That is hard for a group of peops to gain their corporate identity and I realised my message of Fathering wasn’t just a message to empower our peops to do this but it was empowering me to dream with them, to help us establish a corporate identity and know how to really worship together and receive each other. I WAS BECOMING A FATHER FOR THE MINISTRY!

I felt like a Father, but the steps were becoming more clear and simple. Like a few weeks ago I asked people in our regional meeting (still Expression58 but the ministry not the local church..) “How many of you don’t feel known in something that you have maturity or wisdom in that you have been known in somewhere else in the past? In other words how many of you have equity in some area of life but it hasn’t transferred into Los Angeles or into your home church or here at Expression58?”

So many people raised their hands it was wild! So many people felt invisible in some of their strengths and because of not feeling known they were not completely activated. I immediately realised I had a job to create a safe place for people to be known and connect in their lives and ministries. You know an orginization is either held back by its leadership or moved forward by it and I have done both. I realize that to move people into a corporate identity even regionally they have to feel known and we have to learn how to transfer their equity into our organization and relationship structure. In other words if you owned a house and then sold it, you could take your profit or equity with you to purchase the next house. It should be the same in the Kingdom because we are all one organization, the church. We should be the best at receiving each other in strengths, in experience, in talents, in giftings, and in skills. We shouldn’t have hundreds of hoops to jump through before we become a part of relationship even if we do have programs to facilitate this joining like memberships or classes, they should only empower not be a protocol hoop to jump through.

Back to my Sunday morning. So I get their with the realization that I am to Father, and I am thinking: Dear God! I am single with no kids and most of what I have done is on the exotic side of ministry AKA being involved with the prophetic my entire life. Now God is asking me to be a Father in the city and to create Fathers and Mothers of all ages who really understand themselves and are coached into successful love in all areas. Then I remember Jesus was not your average leader in his day either. He was single without kids (props to me for the first time in that regard) and he didn’t spend a lot of time meeting needs but actually was working to bring a Kingdom. He raised up a team around him that had various strengths and passions that could carry the areas he didn’t bring to the table as far as meeting with people, organizing their mission, travel schedule, finances, etc. I started to get courage and so should you! When we pioneer we are so strong even when we are weak when we have (first God) then a team with us because in our weaknesses they are strong! (Not to imply Jesus was weak but he had incredible delegation abilities Matthew 10 as an example).

So I am qualified and so are you to lead even if your life looks different from the average life and we are called to Father (Mother) this generation into becoming the best versions of themselves.Shawn at Hollywood walk of fame Its not about experience (although it helps so much and I can’t wait to have more), its not about whether you are married or single (Its believed even Paul was single), its not about how gifted you are (a big heart can cover up a lot of weakness), but we are qualified to pioneer this new breed of Christianity by a few things:

1) Love for God

2) Love for ourselves and people

3) Willingness, teachability and humility

So that’s it…thats the first blog but I will be writing more soon! In the mean time I would encourage you to read our end of the year report that is in my blog on wordpress, on Facebook in my notes, on our website in the news ( and other places. If you want to hear the message I did on that Sunday look for it in our free podcast soon.

Signing out… Shawn Bolz