Scheduling goodwill

One of the key points in Grow Like Jesus is that we grow in “favor with man” by building relationships that move people closer to Christ. So our relationships should point others toward a relationship with Christ if they don’t know Him and a deeper relationship with Christ if they already know Him.

There are many ways to do that, of course, but today I’d like to discuss just one: Schedule goodwill.

I’m all for random acts of kindness. And, in fact, there’s never a wrong time to do the right thing. So I’m not suggesting that you only offer goodwill according to a schedule. You have an endless supply, so give it out whenever and wherever possible. But I am suggesting that you put some “goodwill giving” on your actual schedule.

There’s a common axiom in business that goes like this: Plan the work and work the plan. Apply that same concept to your goodwill. If you schedule some goodwill, you’re more likely give out some goodwill.

Audrey and I take a similar approach to prayer. While the circumstances of each day shape who and what we pray for, we also have a list we use to intentionally cover specific people, organizations, and issues in prayer. We plan the prayer and pray the plan.

I saw an opportunity to apply this to goodwill after a recent meeting with the college pastors at our church. Here’s the back story: My wife and I open our home to college students for a weekly Bible study. They lead it. We just provide a place and help out as needed. At a meeting for “host home families,” one of the college pastors suggested that we send an encouraging text each week to the group leader.

I loved the idea. But why stop with the leader of the college Bible study?

Since I’m one of those guys who tends to forget stuff, I decided to schedule a reminder to text or email a different person each day with an encouraging word. It’s literally on my calendar.

Here’s my schedule (subject to change):

Monday: A pastor.

Tuesday: A friend.

Wednesday: A college group leader.

Thursday: A missionary we support.

Friday: Someone in my small group.

It won’t take long to send these messages, so I might send five a day. That would be 25 encouraging messages a week.

We’ll see how it goes. Frankly, I tend to ebb and flow on such things. I’ll start strong and go through some dry spells. But if a message pops up every day on my calendar reminding me to encourage someone, chances are better that I’ll do it.

So what sort of goodwill can you fit on your schedule?


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