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Trim the Fat from Your Schedule

By Guest Contributor September 29, 2015

By Chris Maxwell

One of the key—and most dreaded—responsibilities of leadership is to make plans. We’re the emperors of events, the sultans of scheduling, the overlords of organizing. That’s a lot of responsibility. We manage time, say yes and no, complete tasks, train leaders, thank workers, evaluate events; our list of duties goes on and on.

And often, the things we can’t get to outweigh the things we plan. We could always read another book on leadership. We could attend another conference on youth ministry. We could study what the coolest church in the world is doing and do it too. We could listen to every harsh word from a parent, pastor, or observer and add more.

Many youth pastors struggle with planning. We plan too many things while missing crucial items that carry long-term value. These components go beyond momentary thrills; they structure spiritual formation, develop depth, build relationships, bring accountability, keep priorities straight, and begin with the end in mind. But how can we decide which things on our schedules are essential and which should be cut?

Think about each of the following suggestions. This isn’t an all-inclusive list of the things you should be doing. But as you evaluate the importance of each item and think about how it could fit into your schedule (and what it could replace), use this exercise as practice. View each item’s importance. See how it could fit into your already crazy schedule.

Consider adding these items to your schedule:
– a one-on-one prayer with a student
– a large event with many students
– a small event with a few students
– a book to read with your students
– an epistle to study with a few students
– a plan designed by a team of students to reach the community
– a song list to evaluate with your worship team
– a historical church leader to learn from together
– a lesson on listening better
– a meeting with a spiritual formation director

So look at your schedule. Read through your typical day, week, and month. When would each of these events fit best? What radical steps should you take to make them happen? What stands in the way?

CC Image courtesy Ronald Sarayudej on Flickr.

About the Author

Guest Contributor

The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry…  Read More