Have you ever been late to a meeting because you simply forgot about it? Have you scheduled an evening meeting at the same time your son had a basketball game?
In the next three posts, we’ll take a look at calendaring and if you should utilize an online calendar or a paper calendar.
We live in a day with instant access to social media, email, podcasts, books, bank account information and much more all on our smart phone device. Even while sitting behind the desk throughout the day, we easily have access information related to work or ministry on our computer. The same applies to online/electronic calendars. With an online calendar, you can access your schedule anywhere in the world and as long as you have internet access, your calendar can be updated in real time. Here are additional benefits on using an online calendar as well as a reason to not utilize an online calendar.
Shareability - Most online calendars have the capability to share your schedule/calendar with other people. You can create a Family Calendar, work calendar, blogging calendar, etc. and share that calendar with your Administrative Assistant, family or supervisor so those close to you are aware of your schedule.
Accessibility - Whether you are at a conference, a trip overseas, or a training event, you can access your calendar. Also, most smart home devices have the capability to add an event to your calendar without even opening up your smartphone, simply by speaking to a device. Accessibility to online calendars are easier today than years past.
Reminders/Notifications - You can set most online calendars to remind you automatically of an event 10 minutes before the event. You can even receive a daily email schedule of the events in your calendar. Reminders and notifications are great tools to use to keep you on track throughout the day.
Distractions - Finally, one reason to not use an online calendar would be how easily distracted a user can be. Email notifications, text messages, social media alerts, or websites can become distractions to the task at hand. If you fear you can become easily distracted or you have other reasons to not use an online calendar, then a paper calendar is the other alternative.
Next week we will discuss paper calendaring and explore how it is beneficial and if there are any concerns with using a paper calendar.
Share with readers what ways you see online calendaring more beneficial than paper calendaring? How do you see online calendaring less beneficial?
Bugs, Clowns, Snakes, Heights and Zombies are still outranked. They still cannot take over the #1 spot.
Americans still view Public Speaking as the #1 Fear.
Yet, no matter how long we try to avoid it, we’re still going to have to speak up at some point. Whether it is a staff meeting, the wedding of a friend, a school show and tell for your child or a report, we’re going to have to speak up in front of our family, friends and peers eventually.
Looking ahead, I want to give you 3 tips to help you overcome your fear of speaking.
No matter how many times you give a presentation in your life, you will have some anxiety associated with your public speech. But the key to all public speeches is preparation. How do you prepare for a public speech? Share with others your keys to giving a successful presentation in the comment section below.
Church volunteers are truly on the front line of ministry. Many local church volunteers work a full time job, have a family life at home, are active within the community and still serve faithfully each week in the local church. The church places volunteers all over the church campus each week: Greeters, parking attendants, small group leaders, technology volunteers, nursery workers, elementary leaders, student ministry leaders and more.
Knowing each ministry volunteer have their own struggles away from the ministry, it’s important that local church leaders and ministers pray for their ministry volunteers.
Here are 10 ways you can pray for your ministry volunteers. Each point will be stated, then supported with Scripture. When you pray for your ministry volunteers, remember to pray over them using the Scripture referenced below.
Here are 10 ways you can pray for your ministry volunteers this week:
Health - John told Gaius that he prayed for his health. Third John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health…” Ask God for protection from sickness and healing for those who are in need.
Preparation Time - Peter reminds the church in First Peter 4:10, “...whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ…” May those who serve within your ministry serve with God’s strength so that He will be glorified.
Serving Time - Ask God to bless the actual time your ministry volunteers serve, as they interact with members and guests. Once again, Peter says in First Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Family - Appeal to God on behalf of your ministry volunteers and their family, asking God to bond them together. Like Cornelius in Acts 10:2, may this be said of your ministry volunteers and their family, “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household…”
Spiritual Life - With a busy schedule, often a daily quiet time with God is neglected. Ask God to bless your leaders with a strong personal devotion time. And as they read and pray in private, may their knowledge of God grow and be evident in public. Once again, Peter writes in Second Peter 1:2, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
Social Life - Wherever your ministry volunteers spend their social time, ask God to bless them with opportunities to share the Gospel. Malachi 1:11 says, “For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My Name will be great among the nations…”
Work - Ephesians 6:7 states, “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” Ask God to bless your ministry volunteers at their workplace with a spirit to work as to the Lord.
Motivation - Why do your volunteers serve? This may be a good question to ask them on a Sunday morning or a midweek program. If you are afraid of how they may answer the question, pray for them and their motivation for serving. May their joy be found in Christ alone. Paul writes in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Growth in Leadership - Are your leaders growing? The work of the ministry is to actually equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Pray to God asking Him to grow their leadership in their ministry area. Ephesians 4:12 reads, “equip the saints for work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God…”
Special Requests - Finally, Interact with your ministry volunteers. Actually ask them how you can pray for them. This may sound like a simple task, but during the busyness of a Sunday morning or midweek program, too often ministers can be task focused rather than ministry focused. Paul said in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
The ministry volunteers are truly a gift to the church. They deserve our prayer and encouragement.
Are there any points I left off this list? What would you have added to the list? Write in the comments below ways you pray for your ministry volunteers.
All Scripture is taken from the ESV.
Have you ever spent Saturday evening preparing for a sermon? I’m not talking about a Saturday evening review or some final edits. I’m speaking about actual preparation for the sermon the next day.
Obviously there are circumstances that arise that require last minute changes. There are also situations where God leads your sermon/lesson preparation in another direction. What I am speaking about is last minute preparation because of calendar interruptions.
Someone drops by your office, a response to an email that takes much longer than expected, or a staff meeting lasts an extra thirty minutes. I know there have been some weeks that I have spent my Saturday evenings preparing for an upcoming lesson or sermon because my week was spent running around performing tasks that were unplanned.
One method to help better equip busy ministers is called ‘Time Blocking’. Instead of tasks, or the to-do list, you should schedule blocks of time on your calendar to work on your most important tasks. Successful business leaders use the time blocking method (http://time.com/4027015/business-success-habits/) and the book ‘The One Thing’ goes into detail on how to implement this method of task management (https://www.amazon.com/ONE-Thing-Surprisingly-Extraordinary-Results/dp/1885167776).
The first step in time blocking is to think about what is most important within your ministry. Once you prayerfully consider what’s most important, then you need to block off a section in your calendar in order to accomplish your one thing.
I’ve chosen these five topics as most important within the ministry. I am sure you may disagree with some of these, considering what role of ministry you are serving in. However, I always consider these important within my ministry.
Sermon Prep/Research Time
Time for Visioning
Time for First Time Guest Follow Up
So each day, I consider each of these five areas then block off at least one hour at least three of the above areas. Typically, I spent the first few hours in the office focused on three items. Once those items are finished, I begin answering emails, meeting with staff members and/or making phone calls.
As a result of time blocking, I have found more flexibility for ministry. And I always understand that emergencies can arise and may cause my calendar to become disrupted. However, most interruptions can wait because I have made an appointment with myself to make sure I am productive in what matters most within my ministry rather than staying busy attending to every single decision.
While this is simply an introduction to Time Blocking, I would like to ask you what are your top priorities for ministry? What do you block out chunks of time for on your daily agenda? Leave your comments below to create discussion with other ministers.
168 Hours a week. As Ministry Leaders, we often think of ways we can maximize the 168 hours God has blessed us with and be more productive. However, 24 of these 168 hours should be spent resting your body, both physically, mentally and emotionally. While we are created in the image of God, we are not omnipotent. We need rest. Here are 5 ideas you can use when thinking about your next day off.
This is a brief list of ideas you can use to rest on your next day off. Do you have a couple of ideas you would add to the list? No matter how you rest, take time to take care of yourself and in doing so, you will be better equipped to serve the body of Christ.