Youth ministry is a marathon filled with a thousand sprints. Whether it’s getting ready for the fall or jumping from camp to camp over the summer, you can get wiped out easily. If only you had some margin.
Margin is one of the biggest tools a youth minister can use to grow a youth ministry. The problem is we lose it quickly and never increase it. If you feel like your ministry is moving too fast and you want that margin, you are going to have to:
TAKE A MOMENT TO BREATHE
It might sound impossible to just stop what you are doing, but it’s essential to getting margin back. Even if you can just give yourself one hour to work out a calendar, schedule or to-do list, it’s worth it.
RE-EXAMINE YOUR PRIORITIES
If your week feels like a rollercoaster it’s because you don’t have your priorities in order. Granted, life might happen, but if you are set with what needs to be done, you can get back on track quickly.
When you get a moment to breathe, list out what you do. And start asking yourself the question, “What has to be done?” Keep working at the list till you have an order. If it’s not 100 percent, keep working at it.
START SAYING “NO” TO THINGS
Sometimes you need to say “No” to good opportunities in order to make time for great ones. It feels like a rejection, but it’s really a protection of your time and priorities.
MAKE YOUR CALENDAR PUBLIC
Distractions are the biggest enemies to our margin. They use it up quickly and will totally override us if not careful. Cut down on distractions by making people aware of your schedule.
Let your volunteers know when you are going home and not to disturb you unless it’s an emergency. Communicate with coworkers when you need to spend time on your message so there is complete focus. Communicate your time, and people will be able to respect it.
SCHEDULE IN MARGIN
One of the reasons you don’t have margin is because you aren’t intentional about it. Put it in your calendar. Give yourself an extra five minutes to transition to a meeting. Put in 30 minutes to grab a bite to eat. Make margin a part of your day.
GET SOME ACCOUNTABILITY
Living with margin takes discipline. It takes intentionality and definitely accountability. Find someone who knows your schedule and will help you keep it. Give them permission to call you out.
If you can hold to your schedule and allow margin to be a part of it, you will not only find rest but also see your leadership grow. You will have a clearer mind to make better decisions because you will now have the time to think.
Where do you see your margin slipping?