Back when I was on staff at Willow Creek in Chicago, we regularly hosted conferences – including a yearly Arts Conference. One of the sessions was a favorite of mine – the focus was on what it takes to be successful in ministry. The advice actually was good for life in general and dealt with a set of structures that the speaker called Y-BARS:

Y-BARS [Your Basic Adult Responsibilities]

1. Be On Time

2. Write Things Down

3. Do Your Chores

4. Mind Your Money

I thought it was a brilliant and straight-forward way to remember the core elements of what it takes to do our job well – the basic foundation on which experience and eventual expertise can be built. Being on time is simply entry-level professionalism. If you’re perpetually late, you’re sending the message that you feel that your time is more valuable than those you’re meeting with – or that you are unable to schedule your day in a way that makes sense. Writing things down [notes, ideas, meeting times, etc…] keeps you from forgetting. “Doing your chores” refers to making sure what you were hired to do is done – and done first. Minding your money means being able to plan and work within whatever your budgetary restrictions are, and – again – keeping your core areas of responsibility in mind as you spend.

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