Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The end of summer is at hand and the school year is right around the corner. This summer was very busy, but lots of fun. I am going to miss it. I have applied to be a substitute teacher and I am on a couple of new boards plus a new business I am a partner in. I have a fall kickoff coming up and I am making some major changes to how things are going. The plan is to make Saturday nights look more like what Wednesday looks like now and to make Wednesday more discipleship oriented.

Things are really moving right along and it is easy to get overwhelmed by everything there is to do. I think everyone can feel that way, not just ministers. There are three important things I have learned.

First, take the time to organize. The more I have going on in my life the more I need to organize my life. If I miss out on organizing my week then I feel stressed just a day or two into the week and nothing ever seems to get done. I find that I have to plan my schedule out starting a year at a time so major events don't kill me. Then I like to look at each upcoming month and plan that the last week of the month prior. A big part of that involves looking ahead for things I should be planning in the coming months. Each Monday I like to plan out my week in more detail so I don't forget anything. Finally each day I briefly look through what is suppose to happen during that day. If things don't happen I have to put it down for the following week or in some free time I left open for that sort of thing. Stressing because I run out of time isn't going to give me another second. Seems like Jesus said something about that.

Second, I make sure to include God time in my schedule. In fact as I plan out my week it is important for me to prioritize everything on my calendar. God, family, youth items that must be done this week, other church items that must be done this week, and then whatever is most important after that. It is a very important order because otherwise my agenda gets full of all the wrong things.

Finally, I make sure to plan fun. Of course fun includes a great many things in my life, like family and youth stuff, but other fun things have to get on the agenda. If you don't have fun then you won't like your life and no matter how organized you are there will be a great big desire to stay in bed all day and get nothing done. That attitude will make you miserable, but if you reward yourself with fun then you will work hard to get things done and have your fun. I do at least.

How do you deal with a million things that must get done NOW?


Sarah Salter said...

Nick, I'm a denominational children's and youth ministry secretary. And I organize my schedule the very same way, but my problem is that often, the HAVE-TO-DO stuff overtakes everything else. And in ministry, that pretty much sucks. My boss and I both suffer from the frustration that comes from being so driven by what HAS to be done (i.e. financial reports, returning phone calls, mass mailings, etc.) that we don't have time to do some of the ministry that we want to do (i.e. taking our youth pastors out to lunch to encourage them, visiting the different churches that belong to our Conference, etc.) Sometimes, I feel like all I do is minister to files and computer screens instead of ministering to people.

Nick the Geek said...


I can totally get that. I was getting buried in those things and felt separated form my Youth. I was able to revamp some things in my agenda to make more time for them. Not everyone can just move things around like that, but if it is really important you can usually find a way.

Have you tried planning a breakfast or lunch on Monday to meet with your Youth/Children's pastors? Lunch might be easier for them but doing it on Monday will make it easier to make sure it is done before the rest of the week gets crazy. You won't be able to meet with everyone you want but hey, 50+ a year is pretty good. If you did that and then made a list of ministers to send a letter of encouragement to each Monday morning you might get a little towards your goal and still get all the HTD stuff done (HTD is Have to do but also Hate to do just so you know)

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