Originally posted in 2010 – this is a great reminder that you do a lot in youth ministry all the time. Thank you!
I’m not sure how many times you have been asked, but I could be rich if there was money at the end of each question on what I did all week. I suppose it isn’t a bad question, parents probably are curious to know, they know what they do & it interests them to know what others do. Teenagers might hope to be a youth minister one day and seek to find out what that looks like… Okay, that might be wishful thinking.
Truth is, many times we are left stammering to speak to what it is we do “do.”
This may be shameless public relations in some ways, but in other ways this will be a life saver for your ministry. Establish a work week today.
If you are like me, you do not do the administrative tasks terribly well. You might not be the most organized person in the land. You thrive on the relationship building and spiritual formation of teenagers & adult leaders. As this relationship, ahem “ministerial” type, often I would leave those tasks I was not that good at to ramp up the ones that were more natural to me. Trouble was with my plan, I needed to tend to those tasks to further the ministry & the things I enjoyed out of ministry. It has been said that 20% of your work will lead to 80% of your results (not sure where I read that but its quite true), so focusing on that 20% & getting it done will get you far in furthering your ministry.
So let me give some help as to what a work week can look like for you.
Monday (9:30am – 4:30pm, 6:30 – 8:30pm)
- Wrap up Finances (get these out of the way quickly)
- Review Prior Sunday Reports (have some report on things went well/not so great & review)
- Set up for Training and/or Youth Council (have a regular leadership meeting & training)
- Go Over Next Sunday Lesson (gear up for sunday early or wednesday if that’s the big day)
- Go Over Wednesday Night Program (meet with leaders, go over lessons & logistics)
- Coaching mtg with Youth Leader (hang out with a leader, coach & talk the youth community)
- Youth Council / Leader Training (do a training or leaders mtg)
- Staff Mtg*
- Team Mtg*
- Youth Ministry Recruitment Focus (pray & communicate with potential leader)
- Email Newsletter (communication day)
- Website Updates (communicate more)
- Work PR/Marketing Campaign (hit up some of those communication points that are not weekly items)
- Meet with Teen Leader (have a mtg with one of your teens)
- To Do list from Youth Council (go through the list of items from leadership team mtg)
- Email N Prepare Class for Wednesday Night (last of Wed Night communications)
- Update Database (do you have a database? update it as end of day activity)
- Prepare Class for Wednesday Evening Worship/Study (set up for Wednesday evening events)
- Meet with Youth Leader (catch up with an adult youth leader)
- Update Database (databases always need updating, but you can leave it if needed)
- Last Check-in with Sunday Leaders (make sure Sunday leaders are equipped)
- Networking (get out of the church & meet with friends, cohorts, vibrant networks)
- Future Casting 3/6/12 months (spend time dreaming/planning 3/6/12 months ahead)
- Send out Last Minute News (any changes people need to know about?)
Friday / Saturday (Days Off)
Sunday (8-11:30am, 4:00-7:00pm)
- Implement Sunday Lessons and Worship
- Implement Small Group Environment
- (just do it!)
With an outlined week like this you can be assured of taking care of that 20% and more that will give you great results in your ministry. Sure it can be tweaked for your circumstances & program, but as I’ve outlined we have scheduled out when our administrative elements to give us ample time for the ministry needs of relating with teenagers and planning & empowering adults in ministry as well.
So, when people ask what is it that you do with your week, and you know they will. You can tell them, I take care of my administrative stuff early so that I can be intentional & available to my community to teach, coach, lead, plan, and hopefully inspire a deeper commitment in Christ and thus a changed life.
Let’s hear from you. What would you add/subtract/change/emphasize/say is too much?
Gavin Richardson is Digital Community Builder for YouthWorker Movement and the Short One at YouthWorker Circuit. He has been in youth work for almost two decades now, has been a writer and consultant on numerous internet and published projects for the church. He’s often a speaker around the country on church communications and community building. His current projects are working on developing online Youth Disciple Groups and finishing a new book “Sticky Sheep.” He is the part time youth guy at Good Shepherd UMC in Hendersonville, TN. If you ask, he will say that he is a “misfit” of the church. He lives in Nashville with his wife Erin, son Brooks and dog Crimson. You can connect with Gavin (and he’s totally cool with that) through http://about.me/gavoweb.