I am a creative, spontaneous, adventure loving person who takes great delight in being with people, loves to hear their stories and join in with those stories as often as I can! :0) But when the Lord was knitting me together in my mother’s womb, well all of those organizational and scheduling neurons never got activated (or placed there in the first place!). It’s like that part of my brain simply doesn’t function!
Now my husband is the exact opposite of me (Seriously! In every way imaginable! We are proof the Lord can hold any marriage together! :0) The good news is he got all those neurons I’m missing! For the past 27 years he’s been trying to teach me to create “homes” for things so I’m not forever losing them! And I’m happy to report I now have one… well, sort of… for my glasses! Instead of losing them all the time we’re down to about 50%! :0) And the home for our keys helps even more! You wouldn’t believe how much time this simple organizational trick saves me!!!! And I sure don’t miss the stress and duress experienced when racing around to find them! I am definitely learning the value of being organized!
And when it comes to discipling I have found keeping a record of what I do with people is unbelievably helpful! Not only does it keep me from the embarrassment of, “Um, I think you already shared this with me last year…” but is it ever helpful for discerning patterns where the Lord is at work in a person’s life and at the end of our times together I can give the person I meet with an outline of what we did so she can refer back to this when she starts to meet with someone else to pass on what was passed on to her!!!
It’s just like when your kids are growing up, you think, “I’ll never forget this!” But you do! And she will! If you don’t take time to write things down, it really is sad all that you forget. So when you’re starting out discipling someone it’s easy to think, “Of course I’ll remember what we’ve done!” Or to assume she’ll remember when she starts discipling someone else. But especially if the Lord has you discipling someone long term – I once discipled someone for seven years (it tends to take much longer once you’re in the work world and not in a collegiate setting). Let me tell you there were times when I really struggled to remember if we’d covered something or not!
So here I am organizationally challenged but seeing a serious need to keep track of what I’m doing with people – you better believe I got down on my knees crying out to the Lord for wisdom! And did he ever deliver!
He gave me the idea to get a small notebook I could keep in my purse. At the end of my one on ones I try to stop five minutes early. I ask the person I’m meeting with to write down the key things that stood out to her from our time together and while she is writing, I am writing… in my notebook recording what we just did!
Now this could take a number of different forms, but here’s what I’ve found most helpful:
After recording the person’s name and the date, I write down:
Focus: what the main focus of our time was
Verses: where we camped out in the scriptures
Assignment: what did I ask her to do before the next time we meet that gives her the opportunity to either process more or apply what we discussed.
Tools: what, if any, tools did I share with her during our time together
Future Ideas: I can’t even begin to tell you how much it helps with future planning when I jot down ideas while they are fresh in my head.
Pray: Depending on how much time the person takes writing her summary from our time I will either write out a prayer then or later in the week spend time praying through what we did. And as I’m praying if the Lord gives me more ideas I’ll write those down in the book too!
And let me say having the person I’m meeting with write up that summary is not just busy work for her. After she is done, I have her share with me what she wrote and wow! Can it ever be insightful to hear what stood out to her! Many times it’s different from what I would’ve expected ~ and that too can help me better prepare ~ and pray! ~ for our next time together!
I cannot recommend highly enough doing this… especially if you’re organizationally challenged like me! :0)
And yes, my little book is pink! :0) Go ahead, splurge and get one that brings you joy each time you look at it! I’ve found I’m much less likely to lose it if I like it! ;0)