While recently away, I spent time talking with the Lord about priorities, namely, defining the top five percent of my life that I, and only I, can do.

Much of what I’m sharing with you is a result of my recent study from Wayne Cordeiro’s book, “Leading on Empty.” I would urge you to pick up the book. You can see my review here.

The Importance of the Top Five Percent

About eighty-five percent of what I do is something anyone can do. Many of these things I can delegate to others.

Ten percent of what I do, others can do with the right education, training, and experience. I can hire people to fulfill these roles.

But only five percent of what I do, only I can do. This is MY top five percent. These are area’s only I can fulfill. I cannot ignore them, delegate them, nor hire someone else to take care them; they require my constant presence and attention.

(*Don’t get hung up on the percent number, whether it’s five percent, ten percent or more, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is knowing what you, and only you, are responsible for.)

Brian Dyson, the former COO of Coca-Cola, shared an illustration explaining the value of life priorities and how important they are:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them — work, family, health, friends, and spirit — and you are keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

While I believe in a God of restoration, one who heals what’s broken, it’s important to note the delicate balance of responsibility each priority brings and how they work together.

My Top Five Percent

So, I started rethinking what’s important to me, what is God asking me to do with what He’s entrusted to me. I realize that this is what I’ll be held accountable to the Lord for.


So, I took out my Moleskine journal and started writing, and here is what I’ve come up with.

My top five percent:

  1. A vibrant, growing relationship with Jesus Christ
  2. A healthy, romantic, God-centered relationship with my wife, Wendi.
  3. A real, genuine family life, spending time together, championing our hearts, and being each other’s greatest fans and support.
  4. Pleasing God in ministry. Fulfilling my calling with joy, integrity, and faithfulness.
  5. A physically healthy body.
  6. Taking time to enjoy all of life with family, friends, and those to whom God has called me.

These six things need daily investments of my time and attention. These stand as pillars that I build the rest of my life around. The condition of these six areas has a direct impact on the other ninety-five percent of what I do.

5percentWhen I’m successful with my most important five percent, then the rest of the ninety-five percent will be “ministry out of the overflow.”

2 Timothy 4:7-8a I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course and I’ve kept my heart full of faith. There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in heaven for me. (Passion Translation)

What’s Your Five Percent?

Take fifteen minutes and work through this exercise. What things are most important to you, things the Lord has asked you to do that only you can do? Write these down then begin to build your life intentionally around them.

Have fun with it. Please share part or all of your list in the comments below. If you have questions, drop them in the comments as well. I would love to hear from you!

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Greg Simas
Greg is the Founder and Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer, Husband, Father, Pastor and Writer. He is married to his wife Wendi, and have three amazing children and four grandchildren. Greg lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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  1. I have not thought about this at all other than my relationship with Jesus, and boy, has it drained me!
    Thank you for this!

    1. Hi Julie. Glad this brought awareness to you!

  2. Wow! So good! Thank you for the reminder to slow down and take an inventory of my priorities! And for the 15 min suggestion because it’s a doable goal to hit! I needed this shift, thank you! ???? Heading for my journal now!

    1. So glad, Jennie. It will be interesting to see what others come up with. If you could, return here and let me know what are some (if not all) of the things that make it on your list.

  3. Good stuff PG! Very encouraging! I can be scattered, all over the place with my priorities. Sometimes it seems as if everything in my life needs priority 1 attention and I know that’s possible. Everything must have its own time and place in order to have a balanced life. This will help me prioritize.

    1. Hi Anthony! Glad this helped. I find myself having to reassess things continually because, like you, so many things feel like top priority. This helped me to drill down a bit to what only I can do and at the same time pushes me to better equip and release more people into ministry to handle the growing time demands. I believe that if I take care of the 5%, God will honor it and help me with the rest. Hope that all makes sense. 🙂

  4. Pastor Greg – thank you for the cliff notes of this book – I like it! We can all agree on #1…only I can pursue an intimate relationship with Jeshua the Messiah…no one can do that for me! #5 is an admonition of the first degree for those of us who weak in the flesh…I am willing to help you out with #6! God Bless you PG!

    1. Thanks, Oscar. I am really working on #5 – going for way better health and energy. And I would love to have you help me out with #6. 🙂 Blessings!

  5. Am really pleased with this. I always try to make things this way but my husband doesn’t have time for God,family ,our love life and always think of work and sleeping around with other women.

    1. Wow, Jane. I’m sorry. I’ll keep you in my prayers for a complete turnaround and full restoration!

  6. This article is so timely as I prayed just this morning for the Lord to give me the grace to have focus on my life given the so many distractions and needs. The 5% most important narrows the loud and competing voices demanding my attention. Thank you Pastor Greg for sharing your journey that many like me can easily identify with. And by the way, it was great meeting you last Sunday 🙂

    1. Hi, Benji. So glad the article is beneficial for you. Personally, I’ve found myself reviewing the material to keep myself aligned and focused on what is most important. It’s something that I have to keep in front of me constantly. Nice meeting you as well. Blessings!

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