At some point in every overworked children’s pastor’s life, he or she will become overwhelmed with a number of major issues and projects at one time. Summer is one of the busiest times on the children’s ministry calendar and can make a children’s pastor want to run away to some tropical island that doesn’t have children.
Help is on the way. Here are ten things to do when the pressure of an overloaded schedule bears down on you.
1. Make A To Do List: Write down everything you need to do no matter how small or large. Just having it written down in black and white will relieve some of the pressure because you don’t have to remember everything.
2. Pray Over The List: Before you start tackling your to do list, lay hands on it and pray for God’s wisdom and guidance. Prepare to be amazed at how much this will help.
3. Cross Off Unimportant Items: Look through the to do list. Cross off anything that doesn’t have to be done. You may want to color code your puppets and alphabetize your object lessons, but you don’t need to do that. Say no to the perfectionist within you. But don’t stop there. Any projects, events, or meetings that aren’t essential should also be crossed off or rescheduled for when you have more time.
4. Procrastinate: Write a new to do list of items that can wait until this crisis period is over. There are things that need to be done but can wait. During crunch time, only do what you have to do now. After making your procrastination list, file it. Then write on your calendar the date you’ll pull out the wait to do list.
5. Delegate: This is the time to rally the troops. Check every item that can be done by someone other than you. Then call in your family, friends, and children’s ministry team and be brutally honest. Tell them you’re in over your head and need their help during this short-lived busy season.
7. Limit Interruptions: Tell friends and co-workers you’ll be unavailable except during certain times. This will give you large chunks of time to get busy on the to do list.
8. Have Fun: After tackling some of the jobs, take a break and do something relaxing and fun. When you get back to work, you’ll be relaxed and better able to handle the stress.
9. Take Care of Yourself: Exercise and healthy eating help you keep down your stress levels which will help you work faster and be more productive.
10. Unwind: After the crisis period, take a little time to yourself to unwind before tackling the jobs you put off. It you don’t allow yourself downtime, you may find yourself burning out.