by Pastor Paul Chappell

I hope you’ve made time over the past week or so to prayerfully evaluate needed areas of growth in your life and set some goals for this New Year. Setting goals, however, is the easy part; living them out in day-sized pieces over the coming year is the challenge. 


Setting goals is the easy part; living them out in day-sized pieces over the coming year is the challenge.

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So, how should our large goals filter into our daily to-do lists?

The answer lies in our God-given roles. A role is a divine assignment—a set of responsibilities placed into your life by God. 

We all have multiple roles which God has assigned to us. I have learned that the best way for me to be sure that my daily priorities match my responsibilities is to remember my roles and list my priorities by them. I then review these roles on a daily basis. (Of course, my roles in life have grown and shifted over the years, so this is not an exercise to do once and be done with. I pause at least annually to review my core roles.) 

My current roles are as follows:

  • Child of God
  • Husband/household
  • Father/family
  • Preacher/teacher
  • Pastor
  • College president
  • Equipper—writing/missions

I have found that making these roles core determining factor of my daily tasks is the difference between a day when I’m spinning my wheels all day and one in which I am making focused progress toward my core responsibilities. Sometimes it is the difference between getting lots done that doesn’t matter and fulfilling the calling God has on my life in that day.

So what are your roles? Take a few moments as you move into this new year to evaluate the big-picture responsibilities God has given you by role. 

List your roles for daily reference. 

And then use that list daily, or at least weekly, as you are determining your upcoming to-dos. 

On any given day or week, there are many things calling for our attention. We must be sure that we are giving time and attention to each of the roles which God has given to us.

Dr. Paul Chappell is the senior pastor of the Lancaster Baptist Church and president of West Coast Baptist College in Lancaster, California. His biblical vision has led the church to become one of the most dynamic independent Baptist churches in the nation. He has been married to his wife for over thirty years and is the father of four married children all serving in Christian ministry.

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