What does productivity mean to you? Do you let other people set expectations, or are you an intrinsically motivated goal-getter? How you define productivity will determine your focus. For example, if productivity means checking off a certain number of tasks, you will focus on completing your to-do list. If productivity means making a certain amount of money, you’ll feel a sense of meaning when the numbers in your bank account start to rise.
In American culture, the formula for productivity is linear. If we’re not careful, we can view success transactionally rather than transformationally. In other words, our measuring stick for success can become more about what we’re doing than who we’re becoming. However, as Christians, we want to define productivity according to the Word of God. The biblical formula for productivity emphasizes transformation above all. We can tap into eternal productivity that leaves a lasting legacy!
Let me preface this blog by saying there is no one formula for productivity. Every person must find what works for them. Also, productivity will look different in different seasons. I have included a few biblical principles that help me, and I hope they will guide you as you follow God’s will.
Formula for Productivity:
1. Connection First
2. A Kingdom Mindset
3. Be Fruitful BEFORE You Multiply
4. Lasting Transformation
Connection + Kingdom (Fruitfulness) = Lasting Transformation
“Yes; I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5, NLT
Jesus made it clear that the formula for productivity must begin with a divine connection. Without a connection to Jesus, our efforts are meaningless and won’t last. To be productive, we must pause, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit before we act.
Martin Luther, a prominent theologian and key leader in the Protestant Reformation, often said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” He knew that meaningful work overflows from a connection with God.
For me, I think about how this relates to content creation like blogs (or even sermons when I was a preacher.) Sometimes, you are crunched for time and have to crank something out for the sake of consistency. God’s grace meets you there, but it’s always much more fulfilling when a message flows organically from time with God. When you focus on connecting with God, the result will be connection and productivity.
Often, we create plans and ask God to bless them. However, in the biblical formula for productivity, God invites us to partner with the work He is already doing. Jesus continues to describe this order of operations in John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
So, create the space to be with God without an agenda. Connect with God, and pray over your personal, professional, and financial life. What work is He inviting you to be a part of? Carve out several hours a day if you need to. Having a set time and a fixed location helps me stay consistent. Then, your productivity will come from a deep well of revelation, not a shallow pool contrived in your own strength.
Seek The Kingdom
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV
Jesus let Kingdom priorities pave the pathway for productivity. He spent his time doing things that furthered the gospel of the Kingdom. Someone who seeks the Kingdom constantly asks, “How do I further God’s will on the earth?” Their concerns are for the community and the common good, as they actively participate in God’s plan to redeem and restore all things to himself. (See Colossians 1:19-20).
So, are your daily activities and goals filtered through a kingdom perspective? How can your daily work, business, and/or investment decisions make a difference? Here is a key indicator that you are seeking the Kingdom: your dreams are bigger than you. Not only do your goals involve serving others more than serving yourself–but they also seem unattainable without supernatural intervention. Eternal productivity involves having the faith to dream and implement a God-sized dream.
Be Fruitful, THEN Multiply
“Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” Genesis 1:28, NLT
Each and every one of us has a measure of time, talent, and treasure to steward. God calls us to cultivate the earth and leave it a little better than we found it. Profit and increase are biblical principles, and the best order of operations is put plainly in Genesis 1. It is important to be fruitful before you try to multiply. In other words, lasting productivity requires scaling sustainably.
Successful business owners know this well. If you try to grow your business and scale before you have the capital to do so, you won’t be able to sustain the growth. The same is true for your finances. If you try to buy a rental property before you have any emergency fund saved, an unexpected hardship could leave you in serious trouble.
The biblical formula for productivity requires maximizing what you have before you pursue more. (Just look at the Parable of the Talents.) How can you mine the meaning and value of your current opportunities and assets? Evaluate how you can be fruitful in your current season, and God will multiply you in due time.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 2:18
Remember that every God-goal centers on who you are becoming, not what you do. Productivity is a natural product of abiding in Christ–that’s a biblical promise.
When you connect with God, seek the Kingdom, and diligently aim for fruitfulness in your current season, eternal transformation will result. You will become more like Christ and positively impact your sphere of influence.
As you enter the new year, re-consider your why. Do your goals come from a connection with God, or are they something you contrived in your own strength? If you want guidance on how to have a more productive and impactful year, we have two resources just for you.
The first is my new book, Run Your Race: How to Pursue God’s Will for Your Life with Peace, Patience, and Productivity. I wrote this to help people integrate their faith, finances, and vocation in any season of life. It will be available on January 17th, 2023, but you can preorder it on Amazon now.
In addition, we’d love to have you at our 2023 WealthBuilders Conference. The theme is exactly what we discussed in this blog– Maximizing the Moment! Join us February 17th-19th in Denver, Colorado, or via livestream to connect with God and learn how to be fruitful and multiply in your investments and business. Click here to learn more about The WealthBuilders Conference and how you can register.
Thank you Billy for this Amazing piece of Advice. God bless you.
Thank you for your wisdom and truth from the Bible. God bless!!
Thanks so much Billy I just downloaded the Audible of your Book. Looking forward to the Advancement God’s Kingdom…!!!!!
Thank you so much for the wisdom. Is putting systems in place part of being fruitful before you multiply?
Riekje, yes! Thank you for your comment. Fruitfulness in any business or ministry is difficult to attain without good systems.
Thank you, Billy. this is so good! I was looking for a guide on setting goals for the new year and here it is. God bless you
Thank you, such a meaningful read, always appreciate these so much.
I love your wisdom and experience. Have a wonderful new year.
This was very helpful for me as I prepared to go into a meeting to discuss my direction for 2023. Thank you.
Thank you Billy. This was very powerful for me to start the new year and get back on track with direction in my life.
That’s great to hear, Nancy! Thank you for your encouragement.
Great teaching and eye opening revelation,I called it, if you ready to learn, the a change would come your way,and God,s grace would take one to another level.
Thank you Billy, this was very helpful for me. Thank God!