Over the past week, I've been re-reading Wayne Cordeiro's wise and helpful book Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion. In chapter ten, Cordeiro discusses how airline pilots must keep a constant watch on their instruments when flying a plane. This is a picture of what we also need to do. Then Cordeiro talks about the twelve dials on the dashboard of his life that "meter vital systems essential to [his] health and success." (p. 175).
I adapted his list into the following catagories, or "dials," to watch in my life. They are divided into three broader categories: personal (1-4), relational (5-8), and professional (9-12). Here they are with a sample of the kinds of questions I'm asking under each one, which I've edited and adapted from my journal entry on this. I hope to use this for periodic self-examination in my own life. Maybe you'll find it helpful for thinking about yours.
1. Spiritual - How is my prayer life, meditation in Scripture, communion with God? Where am I struggling with sinful emotions, desires, actions, or responses? How is my repentance? Am I preaching the gospel to myself and using the gospel on my heart?
2. Intellectual - How is the "life of the mind"? Am I reading regularly, consistently? Am I exposing myself to the right kinds of books, literature, art, and media? Am I stimulating my mind and imagination?
3. Physical - Am I caring for my body with appropriate exercise, good nutrition, and sufficient sleep? Do I take enough time off? Am I active in a sport that is genuinely re-creational?
4. Organizational - Is my life ordered? Are my schedule, office, desk, and inbox free from clutter? How is my time management?
5. Marriage - How is my relatonship with my wife? Are we spending enough time together, talking regularly, and meeting each other's needs? Are we having fun together? Are we managing conflict in healthy ways?
6. Children - How are my kids? Do they see enough of me? Am I discipling them? How consistent are we in family devotions? Am I consistent in discipline, but free from anger and frustration? Are we having enough fun together as a family?
7. Stewardship - How am I doing with managing my finances, maintaining my house and vehicles? Am I keeping good records? How is my giving?
8. Extended Family and Friends - Am I staying in contact with extended family and friends? Are conversations and visits with them mutually encouraging and helpful?
9. Preaching - How much time am I spending in sermon preparation? Am I starting to work on sermons early enough in the week? Am I planning ahead? Do I sense God's smile? Am I being faithful to the text, true to the gospel, and staying relevant to the diversity of people in my congregation? Are my sermons practical? Are they intelligible to unbelievers?
10. Pastoring - Am I giving good pastoral care to people? Am I leading teams well? Am I mentoring leaders? Am I planning ahead? How much time am I giving to counseling? How are the ministries of worship, education, small groups, children, and youth going? Am I casting vision?
11. Writing - Am I making progress in my book? Am I planning future books? Am I meeting deadlines? How effective is my blogging?
12. Ministry outside my church - How is my ministry outside of my church context? Missions? Outside speaking engagements? Am I giving too much or too little time to this? What should be my grids for decision making? Am I content with the opportunities God has given me?