Much of my time in ministry has been spent serving in churches that were growing very quickly. That sounds awesome, and – in many, many ways – it was. To the casual observer, churches like ours appeared to have it all together – lots of people attending, great buildings, etc…

In reality, we were constantly playing catch up – trying to build teams, facilities and programs fast enough to serve the people that God brought our way. Add this to the relentless pace of normal ministry, and burnout and/or sinful “coping strategies” weren’t far behind…

There was a clear difference that I saw in the people who [metaphorically] survived that pace in ministry and those who didn’t. Time-management skills. Sadly, it’s a skillset that is assumed to be a “given” when so many times it’s not. In my case, it wasn’t until I was working on my master’s degree that I developed a set of systems that work. If, like me when I was younger, you haven’t had good systems in place [or could get by winging it], start simple. Three easy steps can massively increase your productivity and reduce your stress, if you follow them faithfully:

1. Use “to do” lists

2. Create a calendar with EVERY meeting, event, rehearsal, etc… on it;

3. Organize your e-mail and/or develop some system for archiving/organizing text, Teams, Slack, etc…  

It can sometimes be a pride issue – however, it’s not insulting, it’s just reality. You just can’t keep everything in your head successfully after a certain point. Once you have the basics down, there are tons of resources available to help you take it from there…  

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