I told myself to write this down or I would forget, but then I told myself that this would be easy to remember. So, I forgot what I was going to write until I reflected through last night’s events and when I got to my grocery store trip and I remember looking at my grocery list and saying, “Writing stuff down is helpful.” I know, what an epiphany.
I know, I know the idea of writing things down and creating a list seems elementary, but really it’s underrated. In fact it’s probably one of the easiest yet most important things we can do. When you go shopping you’ll find that you save more money when you have a list. You’ll find yourself more productive around the house when you have a to-do list. When someone calls you’ll find the best way to take a message is to take a pen and write down the message. While writing it down in our personal lives is important, it’s just as important in ministry. Especially in these areas:
- Vision Casting: Write it down, over and over again. Have your team write it down over and over again. Place it in the signature of your email, write it down on your letterhead (if you are still writing letters). When people write it down and see it over and over again, they’ll remember it and then live it out.
- Agendas: The quickest way through a meeting is with an agenda. If you write it down the path is clear, if you don’t beware of tangents and distractions on the horizon. Not only should you have an agenda but so should the people you are meeting with. You’ll thank me when your meetings don’t go for 3 hours.
- Schedule: I know what I need to do during the week I just get confused in what order I should do it in. Also what I do this week is pretty similar to the next and you would think with a routine like that it would be easy to remember…but I get distracted. A phone call, email, google search gets me off track and next thing I know I’ve lost track of what needs to be done. With a written schedule you can margin creative reflection or dillydallying into your schedule so that the rest of the time you can stay on task.
I know that there are other areas where creating a list or writing down a point is important, I just forgot what they were because I didn’t write it down. But, the two main reasons we write things down is so that we can REMEMBER and STAY FOCUSED. Now I’m not saying people don’t have great memories, but consider this an insurance plan for when times get really crazy. So, write it down.
What are other areas where keeping a list or marking it is important in ministry?