17 be wise with your time


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17 be wise with your time

  1. 1. BE W IS E W I T H Y OUR T IME from Doug Fields FOR STARTERS What’s your strategy, if any, for TRAINING on the GO Your time as a volunteer is precious, so I encourage you to be wise with managing your ministry time? each minute you spend doing youth ministry. Consider these actions: What do you consider to be Think stewardship. Let’s face the reality of time. Everyone has the same time wasters or distractions? amount (7 days, 24 hours, 60 minutes). We can’t make more time, so we’ve got to manage the time God has given us. I’m not asking anyone to become a time management guru in order to work with teenagers. But I am asking volunteers to carefully consider their time. If you can give the youth group IN T HE TRENCHE S only 60 worthwhile minutes a week, thank you and God bless you! Consider your time a gift from God, and be a good steward of it.Jennifer is a talker. She is a college-age volunteer and definitely has the Debrief your time. One way to become a good steward of your time isgift of gab. Each week she would to look back at each week and evaluate how you spent it. But don’t gradestop me to give me updates on her yourself a failure each week for wasting time. Instead, do an honestministry, her life, and her favoriteTV shows. I really do value and evaluation, and then debrief.love Jennifer’s heart for students Tell yourself something like, “OK, next week I’m not going to spend 30and for our ministry. But each weekwhen I saw her walk into the room, minutes with that needy adult who always traps me. As much as I’d like toI began preparing myself for a help, I’ve got to use my time with students. I need to make sure someone islong conversation. Unfortunately, caring for that needy adult, but it doesn’t have to be me every week.”the conversations would happenat the same time students were Each week, review how you spent your time, figure out what you can learnarriving. I knew Jennifer’s heart is from it, and make some notes about what you’ll do the next week.in the right place, but I also knewthat I was losing a lot of valuable Don’t be afraid to guard your time. Years ago I learned a valuable lesson:time for students. If I don’t protect my time, no one will. I realized that others don’t care aboutI finally realized it wasn’t Jennifer’s my time as much as I do. They don’t care that I’m late to my son’s game, missfault that she was wasting my time; dinner, or can’t meet a deadline.it was mine. I was expecting some- Because of that reality, I’ve learned to take more control of my time and bething from her that I never actuallyexplained to her. So I had a much- more direct with people. Now I might say something like, “I’d love to standneeded conversation with Jennifer, and talk more, but I’m here only 60 minutes a week. I’m in charge of thetelling her simply that I enjoy seeing freshman boys, and I need to get in the room and begin talking with them.her each week but can’t always take I’m sorry I don’t have more time right now. Maybe we can set up a time tomy attention away from students tolisten to her. I asked if she would connect at another time outside of youth group.”consider stopping by my office once It’s amazing how understanding people are when you directly communicatea month or sending me a weekly your good intentions. They don’t want to keep you from doing ministry;e-mail update on what’s happening.I told her I want to cheer on her min- they just can’t read your mind. They’re going to keep talking because theyistry, but I also want (and need) to think you have nothing better to do. I understand if you’re a little afraid totalk to teenagers. be direct; I once was, too. Learn the lesson now. Be a focused steward ofThat honest and direct conversation your time so that your ministry effectiveness soars.was valuable for both of us; Jenniferis still able to follow through onher good intentions, and I’m ableto protect my time with students.Who are the Jennifers in your life?What steps can you take to protectyour time with students?YOUTH LEADER TRAINING ON THE GO
  2. 2. B E W I S E W I T H Y OUR T IME CONNECT to God’s Word T O T HE POINT • Even good intentions can “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has waste time. commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your • Review your use of youth God has commanded you, so that you may live and ministry time. prosper and prolong your days in the land that • Be wise about how you spend you will possess.” —Deuteronomy 5:32-33 your time. • Be direct in letting others • What distractions “to the right or to the left” tend know that you have a goal— to grab most of your time? and limited time. • How can you cut time wasters from your life? What will be the impact on your ministry with students? TRY I T Put a stopwatch on your desk, Write a response and prayer to God here… in your car, or another place you spend a lot of time. You might even carry it with you. Begin timing your distractions; for a few days, push “start” and then “stop” when you’re absorbed in something you’d consider a time- wasting distraction. At the end of this experiment, debrief this time, thinking through the regular and irregular distractions. What were they? Can you remove any of them? Do you need to have a conversation with any of your regular “distractions”? Then take the next step: Make room for your priorities, and work to remove the things that don’t matter as much. MA K E IT PER SONAL Permission to photocopy this handout granted for local church use. Copyright © Doug Fields. Published in Youth Leader Training on the Go by Group Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 481, Loveland, CO 80539. www.youthministry.com and www.simplyyouthministry.com