A Leader's Most Important Time Management Strategy
I have way too much to do and I know you relate to this. But, I can't think of anything that is more vital in the life of a leader as saying, "Jesus, I want each day to count to the maximum!"
What I'm talking about in this Youth Leader's Coach, "A Leader's Most Important Time Management Strategy," is by far the most important principle that I adhere to, as I am called to multi-task in many different directions. So listen in, as we take a look at how the Apostle Paul maximized his time, and I share with you some of the strategies I use for making the most of my time as I find myself in one of the busiest seasons of life I've had to face yet!
Statistically, Barna's research indicates that out of every ten people who begin in full-time ministry, only two are likely to remain at the ten year mark. I hope those statistics shock you and leave you asking the question "why?"
Upon reflection, I think our ability to go the distance is determined, in large part, by the level of our success at "Self Leadership." To both survive and thrive, it is essential that we become good stewards of our time and emotions.
Who is going to stay in the game long enough to spiritually parent the emerging generation? My prayer is that you will. Go for the dog!
Running with you,
Two separate studies showed that 3% of all Yale and Harvard graduates were financially far more successful than 97% of their counterparts. So much more successful, one study showed that the 3% earned more than the 97% combined. What set them apart from the others? You might find this surprisingly simple, it was written goals with a plan of action.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, "The Uncommon 3%," we cover goal-setting in detail. Hopefully, understanding what setting goals can accomplish, along with guidelines for effectively writing them, will encourage and equip you to take your next step toward mastering the skill. For the results are in, our lifelong success depends on it!
Becoming intentional with you,
I was raised in Indianapolis, just miles away from the famed Indy 500. I don't know much about professional racing. But one obvious thing stands out: No one wins the race without making regular pit stops. Those pauses allow for refueling and the necessary mechanical adjustments to keep going long haul.
You probably made a "personal pit stop" of sorts during the summer if you were able to break away for some sort of summer vacation. But as fall and winter approach, don't make the mistake of thinking that your next "pit stop" needs to wait until next summer. Shorter but more frequent "break away times" will make a huge difference in your spiritual health and emotional resiliency.
Remember my definition for BUSY: "Being Under Satan's Yoke." So, in this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Pit Stops Required," let me dialogue with you on this simple concept of taking SHORT BUT MORE CONSISTENT breaks, to be able to survive the long-haul.
In It For The Long Haul,
It doesn't seem that long ago, that I experienced a life-changing "end of an era." Our oldest son, Josh, married his amazing Monica. You can well imagine all the "mother emotions" that lovingly surrounded that big day.
As I came to the studio to record this Youth Leader's Coach, I wanted to share some thoughts with you on important keys to raising children while also being involved in youth ministry. Whether you are single, married without children, or already "The Walton Family," please take time to listen to this resource. I share some principles that are really near to my heart that helped to make it possible to balance both raising two amazing sons and having a full-time youth ministry. If you don't need those thoughts now, you probably will in the future.
Lovingly excited to be a Mother-In-Love,
Ever read the renown secular leadership book "Good To Great"? The leadership principles in this book are so powerful, that using Jim Collins' terminology, I've entitled our time together, "The Hedgehog Principle."
If you are like me, you have way more goals in youth ministry than you have the time to accomplish them. "The Hedgehog Principle" helps me to understand the importance of focus and priorities in any effective youth ministry. Take a look at nature. The fox seems to be more effective in battle because he can run quickly and in a hundred different directions. But the hedgehog has only one primary skill: he rolls up in a prickly ball when the fox comes near him. In observing these two animals, we glean an important lesson. The clumsy, slow hedgehog invariably comes out the winner.
A fellow youth ministry hedgehog,
Hans Finzel wrote a book a few years back entitled, "The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make." The implications on youth ministry leadership were so powerful that I wanted to do a couple of Youth Leader's Coaches built around some of Finzel's thoughts and research. So this Youth Leader's Coach is entitled "The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make - Part One." Make sure you get a hold of next month's Youth Leader's Coach as we finish this topic.
In this mentoring time we'll journey together through several leadership pitfalls, including "The Top-Down Attitude" and "No Room for Mavericks." So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some simple but eye-opening parallels.
All my ministry, people have continued to ask me, "How do you do everything that you do?" My roles as wife, mom, youth pastor, superintendent of a large Christian school and director of the church's women's ministry in the past have made my "plate" pretty full. Then in my "spare time," I traveled for the national ministry.
My answer has always been a single one: "I have a brutal sense of priorities." In this vital coaching message, I share with you a few of my most important keys for building your own time management system out of your priority base. This teaching is particularly vital to anyone who struggles in youth ministry, feeling that there often "aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done."
Occasionally, I do a sharing that I think would be helpful enough to be played over and over. I think "The Youth Pastor And His Priorities" will probably prove to be one of these. As always, thank you for the huge privilege of speaking into your life. I will never take it for granted.
Our time with our students is short. Just like in grade school when our favorite time of day was the 20 minute recess and we made the most it, we need to make the most of the brief time we have with our students before they leave our ministries and are gone.
Greg Stier, the founder and president of Dare 2 Share, reminds us that we have just a short window of time to maximize our impact with our students and we need to play hard, fast and now. Listen as Greg gives us tips to best use the time we have to reach the students of this generation.
As parents in full-time ministry, it's like playing a game of "Ministry Jenga." We're constantly knocking out little blocks of time from our lives to make our ministry tower just a little larger, and usually it comes at the expense of the blocks we take for granted the most...our families. Josh Mayo is a full-time youth pastor and is not only a father, but he understands what it's like being raised in a family where both parents are in full-time ministry. In this breakout session, Josh shares from his life experience growing up with the amazing Sam & Jeanne Mayo for parents and from his book, "Help, I'm Raising My Kids While Doing Ministry."
From the normal demands of ministry, to maintaining a family, to nourishing a growing walk with Christ, it's almost impossible for us "in the trenches" of youth ministry to find time for ourselves. In ministry, there are always things to be done and people to reach out to. However, I'm reminded of Jesus' words when He said, "You'll always have the sick with you..." There will always be opportunities for ministry. Jesus provided an excellent example of regularly "pulling away" with His disciples from the world of ministry.
I've titled this Youth Leader's Coach, "The Youth Pastor's Sabbath." We all know how hard it is to remove ourselves from our responsibilities, but it must be done. Our "tanks" soon become low if we're constantly meeting others' needs and rarely taking time to restore ourselves. May this message reassure you that it's not just okay, but necessary, to "pull away" from your ministry world to replenish yourself. You really do deserve it!
In the trenches,