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Slow Down Your Ministry

Ran into a former student the other day and had to blink twice when they told me that they were graduating college. This is not the first teen in my ministry to go through college, it was just one of those moments when you wonder, “Where has the time gone?” We all experience that, life in general moves quickly. As Matthew Broderick’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off so cleverly states:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it.”

When you hit that reality it’s easy to get discouraged because you might feel like opportunities have been blown or missed. The pace of your ministry might feel like it’s unbearable and you begin to question whether or not you are really getting anything accomplished. If you feel that way then chances are you need to SLOW DOWN. And you can do that by:

  • Managing a Schedule: You might not feel like you have enough time in the day because you don’t manage your hours well. A schedule is for tracking your time just like a budget is for money. Budget out your work day and breaks. Track the time you are spending in certain areas of your ministry.  When you can track your pace you can slow it down.
  • Observe Silence: Too much noise will increase the pace you have at work. Make sure your environments allow you to slow down. It might be turning off music or the Internet. It could mean finding a quiet place to write or adjusting the lights in your office. Eliminate distractions so that you can concentrate on God’s calling for you.
  • Simplifying Your Ministry: The more complex something becomes the more overwhelming you will feel. Look at your ministry and instead of asking, “What are we not doing?” flip it and ask, “What do we need to stop doing?” Simple can be more effective than complex because you won’t be overwhelmed, instead you’ll be more focused.
  • Putting Time With God First: Life gets crazy when you try and take control. Quiet time with God is something you teach your teens; however, it’s something you have to remember to do yourself. Even if you feel like you have a million things to do, you need to put God first and let Him give you the grace you need to get through it. He’s the one who will and can slow down your days.

Slowing down your work pace helps you not only manage your ministry well, but build appreciation for where God is blessing you. It gives you a chance to observe how He is impacting you, the ministry and His Kingdom. So, SLOW DOWN.

Do you feel like you need to slow down? If so what area?

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Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!