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Leading on full: filling up your tank

The Germans call it an ‘Aha-Erlebnis’, the moment a certain truth or insight hits you. It’s that moment when all of a sudden something makes sense and you ‘get it’. I had such an Aha-Erlebnis at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit a couple of years ago listening to Hawaiian pastor Wayne Cordeiro speaking on ‘Leading on Empty’. He was talking about his burnout and the factors leading to it. And what he was saying about the absolute necessity of ‘filling up your tank’ before it’s empty, connected with me.

What fills your tank, what gives you energy?

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Time management in youth ministry: setting priorities

This post is part of the Time management in youth ministry series. In youth ministry, there’s always more to do than we have time for. If your to do list is anything like mine, it can become quite a challenge to determine what gets priority and what will have to wait. I use very two effective ways to determine my priorities that I’d like to share with you. In another post, I describe the INO system, which is a third way of determining priorities.

In youth ministry it’s essential to set the right priorities. We can’t do it all.

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Time management in youth ministry: keeping the Sabbath

This post is part of the Time Management in Youth Ministry series. If there’s one thing you need to do when you’re extremely busy, it’s to take one day a week off: keeping a Sabbath. It may seem like a stupid thing to do when your to do list is bigger than ever, but it’s the best investment you can make.

God gave the command to keep the Sabbath for a reason (even though the Ten Commandments have a different meaning for us than they did for the Israelites). We need this day of rest for our bodies, our minds, and our souls.

Keeping the Sabbath is an investment in our health, our family, our relationship with God and with others. If you just keep on running, you’re gonna find yourself run out, run down and overrun at some point. Continue reading Time management in youth ministry: keeping the Sabbath

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How Evernote can change the way you work in youth ministry

 

Going paperless is completely possible with Evernote

This post is part of the Time Management in Youth Ministry seriesEvernote is one app that has truly changed the way I work. Not only that, but since I started using it about two years ago, it has saved me a considerable amount of time, energy and frustration. In a previous post I discussed 3 great ways to use Evernote in youth ministry. Today I’d like to show you how Evernote can change the way you work.

Go paperless

A year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to go paperless as much as we could. We bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap, a portable mobile scanner that scans all paper formats like crazy (take note that we own the Mac version of the ScanSnap, there’s another ScanSnapfor pc users).

And we tested it to the limit, feeding it every bit of paper we could find: policies, official correspondence, college notes, readers, conference proceedings, newspaper or magazine clippings, handwritten summaries from books, handwritten notes from sermons, courses and conferences, recipes, correspondence from friends over the years, bills, business cards, minutes from meetings, old spiritual diaries, mind maps I’ve made over the years, copies of important documents (passport, driver’s license, birth certificate) and much, much more.

By now, we have scanned over 35,000 papers and every time something new on paper comes in that we want to keep, we scan it. We’ve only kept hard copies on paper of the most important things (like current insurance policies) and everything else we’ve simply thrown out. I. Love. It. The ScanSnap (we affectionately call it Snappy) isn’t cheap, but it’s been worth every dollar so far. Continue reading How Evernote can change the way you work in youth ministry

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3 great ways to use Evernote in youth ministry

Evernote is by far one of the best apps I’m using. It’s one of the few apps that truly make a difference in my life and saves me tons of time, energy and frustration. I am convinced that Evernote can help you become more efficient and effective as well as you serve in youth ministry. I’ll show you why.

What is Evernote

It’s an app (either web based or installed on your MacBook, laptop, pc, smartphone, etc) that lets you collect any digital information and store it. The basic version is free, but the premium version I’m using has tons of extra features. Check the differences between basic and premium out on the Evernote site.

You can add files in any format (basic version only allows for images, links and pdf), clip complete webpages to Evernote (where they are readable as pdf), share notes via Twitter, Facebook or email and you can even do voice recordings when you want to record your thoughts. If you add a scanner (like the Fujitsu ScanSnap we have, take note that you’ll need another version of the ScanSnap if you have a pc), you can scan anything you want to, straight into Evernote. It’s a dream come true.

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Time management in youth ministry: Getting Things Done


We’d never heard of the name David Allen or the book Getting Things Done when we picked it up at JFK airport in September 2004. But it proved to be one of the most valuable and life-changing books we’d ever bought, because it showed us a way to become more productive without working harder. Here’s some of what I’ve learned and how it applies to youth ministry. Continue reading Time management in youth ministry: Getting Things Done

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Time management in Youth Ministry: designing the ideal week

In the series Time Management in Youth Ministry we’re checking out all kinds of ideas, tools and tips for becoming more efficient and more effective. Today’s topic is designing the ideal week. What would your perfect work week look like? Note that I’m saying work week, not vacation or retreat. I know what that would look like…we’d all head to Hawaii, right? But let’s focus on work, if you were to describe your ideal work week, what would you wish for?

Have you ever though about your ideal work week?

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Time Management in Youth Ministry: becoming efficient and effective

I’m one of those people who believes in the benefits of good time management. Why would I want to spend an hour on something when half an hour would be enough if I would just do it differently? Over the last ten years, I have tried out many things to become more efficient. Some were very successful, some not so much, and in this new series on Time Management in Youth Ministry I will share much of what I have learned, along with some lessons others have written down.

Generally speaking, as youth leaders we need all the efficiency we can get, because there’s always more work than can be done in the time we have. Our overflowing inboxes prove that we’re still not on top of our email, our to-do-lists seem to get longer instead of shorter and there’s always this nagging thought in the back of our head that we still haven’t done this or that…

Time management can help you become efficient: doing more useful work with less energy

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