Delegate – Figure out the little ways someone can help you. Don’t get paralyzed wishing you had a full time assistant (or an assistant for your assistant). Think in terms of bite sized pieces that someone can share in the ministry load with you. Create opportunities for people to be a part of ministry with you – then pray for people to join you.
Create a System – Probably one of the most helpful things a ministry leader can do is create a system for getting projects, details and people organized. Figure out the three or four steps for something to get done, learn it well, document it and break it down so it isn’t so scary. Creating a system works for almost anything: How you track attendance, How you get your messages planned, How you communicate with leaders in your ministry, Steps needed for people to get involved, etc.
Learn Something New – This isn’t always easy for me. But I can see that it has paid off. Examples include learning a Twitter program that allows me to send information and follow people back. I learned to use Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com) for keep track of emails and sending communication to people (and by the way, if you decide to do this, mention me and both you and I will get a $30 credit:). And I’ve learned to use planningcenteronline.com for organizing worship ministry teams at our church. Each of those took some time initially, but now saves me tons of time as I communicate, plan and prepare.
Plan Out – Charting the course (at the beginning of each day, at the beginning of each week, at the beginning of each month, and at the beginning of each year) will take time, but will really add time to your schedule for creative thinking, for involving other people and for keeping you sane.
Take Time Off – I have discovered over and over that the time invested in taking a break yields big dividends in energy, passion and a fresh point of view. Whether it’s a week vacation or an afternoon off, the time following that is typically rich and rewarding. I used to wish that I didn’t have to sleep so that I could accomplish more by using all the hours of the night. Then someone reminded me that in our sleep, God is at work (Ps. 121:4). I have always remembered that and have enjoyed sleeping more – thinking about what might come in the morning. Many times, after an evening of rest, I have awakened to an email answering something from the previous day, a post from someone that is just what I needed to read, insight in Scripture that I hadn’t seen before. Resting, though it requires time, rejuvenates us and makes the most of our time the next day!
(credit: the catalyst to some of these thoughts came from a blog post on www.wisebread.com)