Last week Adam McLane posted a short video where he challenges youth workers to step back and reconsider where we spend all our time, and if it really matters. Since I’ve been struggling through a lot of those thoughts anyway, I decided to take his challenge and publicly state how I spend some of my time in youth ministry and evaluate each task on a scale of, “Absolutely worth my time; it changes lives” to, “Not worth my time; it does not change lives.” Of course, this list is not exhaustive — I stopped listing things after it was a page long.
My goal in this was: 1) to refocus on how I can best spend the limited and valuable time I have with teens while they’re still in jr. high and high school; and 2) to find what was in common with the tasks I felt change lives and use that common denominator to help focus and refine the ministry for our big launch in the fall. Not surprisingly, most of the things in the “Absolutely worth my time” category are relational and are not task-oriented.
You may disagree with how I rated some of my tasks, and that’s fine. I go back and forth on some of them myself. If you and I were able to sit down and have a face to face conversation, you could hear my heart and why I evaluate some things the way I do. For most of them, I just went with my first gut reaction without wrestling back and forth a whole lot. Otherwise, it would get way too complicated.
Regardless, I’d love to hear your reaction to some of the tasks below. How would you rate them for you and your ministry? What day-to-day ministry items are totally worth your time and what items are just busy-work to appease tithers, your sr. pastor, or even yourself?
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Posted on April 29, 2009