If your office is like mine, it stays perpetually busy (a polite way of saying messy).
I always have stacks of papers, books, folders and mail that I will get to later. It’s stuff I intend to work on, but it’s never a pressing issue at the time. It could be paperwork for my summer camp. It might be a stack of mail about amusement park trips for later in the summer. Sometimes it’s a tower of books I’ve been meaning to read.
No matter what it is, you will usually find one or two stacks on my desk year round. It’s my get-to-it file and so it remains stacked until I get to it.
By now, I hope you’ve accepted that there are slow periods in ministry. There are weeks where youth ministry just isn’t as slam packed as other times of the year. For example, this week is spring break in my neck of the woods. It’s been a rather light week.
What do you do when you realize you’re approaching a light week in ministry? For me, I work on the get-to-it file. I pull those stacks of papers or books down and go through them. (It also helps to serve as a spring cleaning for my office.)
This week, I worked on lesson-planning for next year. I’ve also started pre-planning our graduates’ dinner by working on some of our end of the year videos. (Videos are a lot of fun and work great, but they take a lot of time to render. This week was perfect for taking a little extra time to work on them.) I also spent more time with students who were not out-of-town for spring break.
The important thing is to take advantage of the slower times. Plan lunch with a student to just hang out and talk. Find a senior adult in your church who needs a jump-start on spring cleaning and grab a handful of students to get it done.
For next year, my wife and I have already decided to take our vacation during spring break. It’s slow at church and summer is so hard for us to get away. We’re already busy considering our options so next spring break we can do what our students do – travel.
Even if your students are in school, you can have slow weeks. Take advantage of them by reading an extra book on ministry or getting ahead of calendar planning. Maybe it’s as simple of going through those stacks of summer camp packets and getting everything organized. The more you do now when it’s slow the less you do later when everything is moving at break-neck speed.
Finally, take some time for you and your family. You are gone many nights during the week, so on a slow week, invest in your spouse and kids. You won’t regret it.
As you look over your schedule, anticipate the slower weeks and adjust your work accordingly. It will help your ministry.