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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

Yet in youth ministry and even in the church in general, time management and efficiency aren’t always appreciated. There seem to be two groups: the group that embraces all tips and tools to get more done and the group that has more or less fundamental objections against using time management techniques. The latter group may state that business techniques don’t belong in church, but there’s another issue that comes up time and again, one that’s worth examining.

Should our goal be to get more done, to be able to accomplish more of our to do list? Should time management lead to a higher productivity in terms of ‘more tasks done’, is that something we should strive for?

My answer: yes and no. Helpful, huh? I don’t believe in productivity for productivity’s sake. Believe me, you can work as efficient as you can for sixty hours straight and still not be effective. I believe in achieving goals, in getting the results you want. That’s where time management techniques come in, because it can help you to become more efficient and more effective. And believe me, you want that.

Let’s run some definitions here to get clarity:

Efficiency: the ratio between the amount of useful work delivered and the energy put in, realizing maximum productivity with a minimal wasted effort

Effective: successful in producing a desired or intended result

In short: an efficient and effective youth ministry is a ministry that achieves its pre-formulated goals with a minimal effort. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that something we all want? To get the results with the minimal needed time and energy?

If you want your youth ministry (and yourself) to become efficient and effective, it’s not necessarily about doing more. It’s certainly not about working more. It’s about doing things smarter, choosing the right priorities and getting things done. And time management techniques can help you get there.

In this series on Time Management in Youth Ministry we will look at a lot of different things to help you become more efficient and more effective. We’ll discuss handling email, effective meetings, to do lists, etc. If you have any issues you’d like to see answered, please drop me a line in the comments or via email, I’d love your input!

How would you rate your efficiency and your productivity right now? Do you have any idea what your biggest obstacles are in time management?

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0 thoughts on “Time Management in Youth Ministry: becoming efficient and effective

  1. […] part 2: hubris One word that could destroy your ministry part I: hamartia Youth … Read More- “youth ministry” – Google Blog Search FREE TEAM Training For Church Ministries Learn the secrets for EFFECTIVE Team Building in church […]

  2. Rachel, these are great points! To be efficient and effective, we must balance time and effort… Practicing it is rather hard :-S

    1. Thanks for stopping by Gina! Yes, it’s hard. But it’s not impossible. People often think they have to change big things, when sometimes little things, small changes can make a big difference! More about that in later posts in this series 🙂

  3. These are great points and an important reminder to use our time well especially when we are charged with the responsibility of ministering to the youth of our culture. There are so many things that compete for our time, if we don’t deliberately manage our time well, we will waste the irreplaceable time resource that God has given us!

    Great post!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Patricia!

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