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It’s Okay To Steal; In Fact You May Want To Start

 —  October 23, 2012 — 3 Comments

I heard it first when I worked with John Maxwell: “Set yourself apart by stealing an hour a day”. In the almost twenty years since I head him say it, I’ve tried to make it a daily habit.

Full-time ministry makes a person busy.
Volunteer ministry makes a person really busy.
Part-time ministry (when you actually have two paying jobs!) makes a person insanely busy.

So how do you juggle the demands of any combination of the following? junior high ministry, a job, a marriage or relationship, raising decent kids, a school schedule, in-laws, a social life, extra-curriculuar interests/hobbies, the desire to speak, write or have additional kingdom impact and “X” (insert something important to you that I forgot)?

John Maxwell would say you start by stealing an hour a day. That’s it. Get up an hour early….or go to bed an hour late….or turn off the TV for an hour….or spend an hour less on Facebook, twitter or Instagram. It’s simple math, really. If you were to steal an hour a day, six days a week you would steal 24 hours a month….OVER HALF A WORK WEEK!

Here’s where it gets interesting. that adds up to 7.5, 40-hour work weeks per year…ALMOST TWO MONTHS OF EXTRA TIME!

What dreams might finally come true; what goals accomplished if you had two extra months each year to work on them?
– Write a book?
– Lose 10 pounds?
– Learn a second language?
– Stay up on current events around the world?
– Get summer camp planned well ahead of time?
– Grow…truly grow…in intimacy with the Father?
– Grow…truly grow…in intimacy with your wife, children or friends?

Very few things in life are free…or even easy. But very few things are as hard as they seem, either…especially if you are willing to start stealing!

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston


Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

3 responses to It’s Okay To Steal; In Fact You May Want To Start

  1. The math of this really is impressive, how much it adds up! It is so easy to waste time! Thanks for posting this as an article to help people maintain sanity. There are so many things to get done and it can be overwhelming, What do you do with your extra time? Do you have to set out a plan for it? (I feel like it would be really easy to just let it slide right into the rest of the day). Thanks!


  2. This is such an excellent idea! What has been your personal success rate with it? Knowing myself I will start out gangbusters then fall into the old routine. Still, it’s worth a shot. Also I love your podcast and hope to start one myself in the future. Any suggestions for launching one?

  3. Kurt Johnston

    I’d say I steal an hour a day almost every day….the biggest issue is what I actually end up doing with it! I oftentimes end up simply reading blogs or news, etc. but when I have a writing project, or big project at church it helps that I’m already in the habit.

    I am up and at Starbucks just about every morning by 7:00. I’m there “stealing an hour” until about 8:00, then organize my day and head into church office by 9:00.

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