Seth Godin has a great post on managing urgency, he highlights how if we spend our whole time dealing with the urgent then the long-term never happens. That means our job becomes putting out fires, being reactive, not proactive, and therefore we miss our calling.
Alongside us as individuals this also happens to our ministry as a whole. We miss the opportunity to do something truly significant by being purely reactive. Here is a great clip:
You can have grand visions for remodeling your house or getting in shape, but if there’s a fire in the kitchen, you drop everything and put it out. What choice do you have? The problem, of course, is that most organizations are on fire, most of the time.
Add up enough urgencies and you don’t get a fire, you get a career. A career putting out fires never leads to the goal you had in mind all along.
I guess the trick is to make the long term items even more urgent than today’s emergencies. Break them into steps and give them deadlines. Measure your people on what they did today in support of where you need to be next month.