I went for my run this morning and came to the conclusion that there are a lot of people out there who are just horrible at shoveling their sidewalks. Now some people might fight back and say, “You shouldn’t be running when it’s below freezing.” Really, no excuses, people take better care of your sidewalks, when you do it helps runners and pedestrians with traction, something essential to not pulling a muscle, slipping, breaking a hip or whatever might happen. Traction is important because it helps us move gracefully and most importantly gain momentum.
Traction is just as important in ministry. The obstacles that prevent us from gaining momentum lay before us are like the puddles of black ice in front of someones house, annoying and if ignored treacherous. How we get through the obstacles comes down to the type of pacing we create in our ministries. While there will be seasons of highs and lows, there needs to be a steady pace throughout the year. Most of the time there is this tendency to ramp up and get things done before a break in the year on top of the tendency to ramp up and get ahead after the break. But all that will achieve is a ministry full of ministers who will crash and burn. It’s like driving over black ice, the worst thing to do is break or accelerate on the ice, you just need to cruise through it. With a year in ministry it’s important to maintain a pace where you can build momentum; through the busy and restful seasons.
Now, some might be thinking, “Chris this is good to know in June or July.” But in reality you can create a pace at any time of the year. Tweak it, look at where you want to go and how you want to get there. What I do to help with my pacing is short term scheduling built into long term scheduling.
Short term scheduling, is your week schedule, what does your Monday look like, your Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. When do you arrive and when do you leave, when do you vision cast, when do you write…I think you get the picture. A short term schedule lets you prepare for the day, know what you are going to work on, of course build in margin, don’t fill it up completely.
Long term scheduling is figuring out how to take on bigger projects such as budgeting, retreats, camps, etc. I feel like there are a lot of us who wait until two weeks before an event to really start planning it and I think the reason we fall in that trap is because it’s not always fun to work on something a year away, but it’s important to do, it’s going to allow you to think things out, take the time to look at different vendors, do cost analysis, etc.
Taking the time to schedule can be tough but once you get it up and running really all it takes is tweaking here and there. And when you tweak your movement instead of making a drastic move chances are you’ll recover quickly and keep momentum going.