Maintaining a Schedule
I've been working on my weekly schedule, something I plan on being a little bit more intentional about doing on a regular basis. I never realized the impact of having a schedule until I finally put one together. What took me so long in the construction of a calendar was the fear of it never being perfect. I finally came to the conclusion, it's never going to be perfect; therefore, I just need to put it out there. I think managing a schedule is one of the most important things a youth worker needs to do. It helps us create margin in our lives, direction towards our goals and the ability to manage the many roles and responsibilites of student ministry. I can't tell you what your schedule should entail but I can show you what mine looks like (attached below). These are some of the things I try to schedule time for:
- Vision Casting...if you aren't spending time vision casting, you aren't looking at the future. You aren't asking the questions: Where do you want to go? Where is your ministry heading? How do you want to grow? What's your purpose?
- Systems and Structures...this includes meetings with point people, staff and looking at how your ministry functions. This is the opportunity to address problems, obstacles and success that are moving or stopping your ministry.
- Research and Writing...I had a hard time figuring out when I should read books that feed the ministry and when I should read books that feed me personally. I have a strict policy of not bringing work home, that includes books I need to read in order to research a certain topic. What I read at home is for my own personal growth and benefit.
- Pastoring Students...I think we sometimes compromise this time with family time. That's not a good mix and something I'm working on because I really don't have any of this time scheduled in the afternoons during the week. But there are times where we just need to make ourselves available for the students and make time where we are going out to meet students. This should not be your personal time...that's for family and God.
- Break/Off Time...This is for family and God...if I'm not giving the majority of my time to God and my family than I cannot be healthy. My Friday is my sabbath, if I spend it on work, I'm cheating God, myself and my family. God has called me first to husband and father, second to student ministry. If we don't know when we leave and when we arrive, things become grey.
A great leader needs to have direction, direction helps us get where we need to go, to stay on point we need to pace ourselves accordingly. A schedule sets the pace, a schedule keeps you going, a schedule means health. This is what I've found, feel free to check out my schedule, I would also be interested in learning what other youth workers are doing. So, what are you scheduling into your week?
Chris is the Youth Pastor at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. Chris is an avid runner, big family man, and has served Christ in student ministry(grades 5th-12th) for over 5 years. Chris shares his joys,frustrations and challenges of ministry through his blog Marathon Youth Ministry.
Chris is married to his beautiful wife Kate and has an awesome son Matthew in Pikesville, MD.