Uh-oh, I’m slipping back into office work

Over the past couple months I got used to leaving my church office every afternoon to head up to the high school and help coach the wrestling team. I loved it because it got me on campus every day, put me in regular contact with a lot of unchurched students, and gave me good visibility to some of my own youth group kids. It was such a great way to build relationships and meet kids on their turf every day, which is what I love doing more than anything else in youth ministry. But now that wrestling season is over, I find I’m starting to fall back into the old rut of gluing myself to office work all day and neglecting the personal interaction with students outside of church. With a youth group of a couple hundred kids, 60-some adult leaders, 18 small groups, events, programs, writing curriculum, meetings, etc., it’s way too easy to become overwhelmed with work and sit behind my desk doing important and necessary stuff. I just need to force myself to leave the office every day when school lets out and understand that work will always be here, but these students won’t be. They’ll be gone in a couple years, so if I have to push something “important” to a back burner and no one else steps up to take ownership of it, it won’t get done. And that’s just the way it is.

Now to call a couple kids and see who wants to go out to eat after school tomorrow…

Posted on March 5, 2008

  • right there with ya man!

  • GiGi

    Ok so the funniest thing about this post is that I had a brain fart moment. I’m on the east coast. You Tim, are not. Your blog posts roll into my inbox at say, 11:48 p.m. according to my email. So I’m going “Dang, Tim’s really a night owl, I couldn’t be up blogging that late!” Duh GiGi, he’s not in the same time zone as you. Of course I’m aware of the time zone difference as the thought also crosses my mind “And his kids’ parents are cool with him calling them at that hour?!?”

    Had to share my idiot moment with you all. Hope you enjoyed. lol.

  • @ GiGi: That’s funny! I very rarely write a post and immediately publish it, though. Actually, I have 31 drafts in queue right now, so when I write it is not necessarily when I publish it. This one I wrote this afternoon and published it late tonight.

  • Tim,

    Do you also require/encourage your adult leaders to connect and spend time with students. Sounds like you’re trying to balance alot. Not saying you shouldn’t spend time with students, but leaders help an awful lot here. I know this can also be tough for some because of their jobs and other commitments. Some say you can only expect so much from a volunteer, others would say you should have high expectations for your volunteers.

    Just my thoughts…


  • Yeah, Frank, I have a lot of awesome volunteers who assume various responsibilities around here. For example, one mom does all our fundraising stuff, another two ladies worked together to set up all our jr. high small groups at the beginning of the year, another two ladies who organize our sr. high small groups, someone else keeps our youth kiosk up to date, and one dad is great at just keeping me on track and remembering the stuff that often slips between the cracks.

    We do expect all our small group leaders to connect with every kid in their group outside of church each week (via phone, email, Facebook, txt, whatever), but that doesn’t always happen. Plus, there’s a lot of kids in our group who aren’t plugged into small groups. Furthermore, there’s tons of kids on campus who have nothing to do with Jesus. I can leave the office and go meet the pre-Christian kids during the afternoon, but most of my youth workers have jobs and don’t have that kind of freedom. So in that case, it’s me or no one.

  • Daniel Mackey

    What a great post! Encouraging and convicting! Ironically, I was cleaning out some old rooms and I found a bunch of folders with Calendars and stuff from the Summer of 2000. Each month detailed the welcoming of Tim, mall madness, who wants to be a millionaire, lock-in’s and the whole nine. It was pretty crazy reminiscing. I usually drop by your blog and appreciate the posts. Keep it up! Tell your lovely bride we said “hello”

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