How to choose what to delegate in your children’s ministry

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The critical issue of what to delegate is often times one of the hardest starting points for many children’s pastors that I get the opportunity to coach, mentor and just network with.

I will start with a thought that many do not take into consideration and then I will do my best to explain why when it comes to delegation it’s wise to start with this thought.

You should only delegate projects that have a benefit for both you and the person being delegated to. People resent dumping of low-level tasks that offer no learning opportunity. When volunteers feel this is happening they will begin to discharge themselves from your ministry. Do remember though, what may be a low-level task to one may not be that same thing to another. This is why its important to know your team.

How do you know what to delegate and to who?

List your projects or tasks. Never delegate part of a project or piece of work. This avoids the accusation of dumping the dull parts of a project while keeping the best bits for yourself.

Estimate time required. Calculate the number of hours you would expect each project or task to take. 

Estimate the cost. Work out the hourly cost of yourself and your team members. This cost is not always financial. Cost comes in many forms. Sometimes it can be the cost of what is it keeping the person from doing if they are working on a certain project. Is it within a certain skill set of the person being delegated to or is there going to be a learning curve and skill set curve.

Map into a table. It should now be possible to work out the cost of each project or task depending on who is delivering it. This should show you clearly the difference in cost if you complete a project or if a member of your team does. Three groups should emerge: high, medium and low cost. 

Estimate Return On Investment (ROI). Once you understand the cost groups, then you need to know the value of that project to your organization. For each project and task set a high, medium and low ROI. 

Select projects for delegation. You can now put together your cost group with your ROI group. Low cost and low ROI go together, medium cost and medium ROI go together and so on. 

This technique allows you to delegate the right projects to the right team member based on simple cost and ROI analysis. This is not a magical formula and should only serve as a broad process but at least in this way there is some logic to what you choose to delegate. Remember delegation is also about developing the team member so giving them a project which is in the group above (for example a high ROI project to a medium cost member of staff) is good practice.

With a good process in place it is easier to show your confidence in the great team that God is working with you in getting established. Now go and make your map, challenge your team, empower them to be all they can be, all the while your ministry is accomplishing what God wants it to accomplish.

How Chunking made my children’s ministry more effective

Juggler

When life gets busy I need systems and structure to keep on track. In fact putting boundaries in place around different activities allows me to be quite impulsive and creative in those times and not getting stressed because of all the ‘urgent’ things that I need to do.

This is where “Chunking” comes in for me!

Life seems to always be adjusting the definition of busy to include more and more into that definition. What was busy for me last year doesn’t seem to be so busy for me this year. The tasks that were required last year in children’s ministry are not as many that are required later in ministry. This is the way it should be because we should always be growing and taking more territory for God. So here is a quick run down of how I chunk my time.

Chunking is not a new concept by any means and I’m probably not using the terminology correctly – but it’s what I call it. I believe that what gets measured gets done efficiently and effectively. This includes time as well. I started by doing a time journal, as I spend my time I log it down. I keep track of my time over a couple of weeks to be able to see patterns and it helps to end odd items that seem to happen in life. After the couple of weeks of time journaling I then will look to see the natural flows that take place in my life. Here are just a couple of examples: Mondays for example seem to be a day that I naturally spent more time evaluating, doing admin stuff and vision casting. Tuesdays seem to hold more meetings than other days, and more networking took place.

After examining the natural flow of my week it took a little adjusting and discipline to make sure I kept all meetings on Tuesday (there are exceptions but I limit them as much as possible). My Mondays became my evaluation, vision, admin day. I would tuck myself away some where with very little distractions, that means not my office.

All of sudden, instead of multi-tasking my week, it became very focused and was accomplished in large “Chunks” of time. Now that more was able to get accomplished, more focused time was the result of what I could pour into what God called me to do, be a children’s pastor.

Hope this brief overview of Chunking will aid you in being more productive like it has for me over the years.

Furthering productivity through iPhone apps.

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If as though my iPhone 5s was not already one of my main productivity tools, now I stumble upon these new apps which has just raised the bar for me. The iPhone has quickly become a main tool for me in my productivity since I got my mophie rechargeable case and my new gold 64gb iPhone.

Here’s the new apps I stumbled upon that may prove helpful for you as well.

Socialradio. Here is an app that will read your tweets to you and even play background music for you. I have set this app to read certain groups/list to me while I drive. It also allows me to retweet once it reads a tweet that I want to retweet.

Songza. This app will help pick the music for the mood you are in. You can also just pick songs or genres that you want to listen to. I enjoy sung this app while writing blog post like this one or creating new curriculum, messages and more.

News360. This is one app I use to draw in from several places news feeds that the app allows me to choose from.

Theres a few apps that I have recently added to my iPhone. What others would you add that have proven themselves to be useful toward your productivity?

Tools for a better children’s ministry-Capture, Execute, Organize

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Stop here and read these earlier post (if you have not followed already) before you continue reading this. Capture, and Execute.

Now for today and the last one in this series that I am going to do.

My last tool that I use to help create a work smooth flow which in return helps me be more creative, deliberate, organized, purposeful, impactful, and successful in my ministry is Workflowy.

How does this work for me?

As you have read now in my earlier post I use Evernote to capture everything. I use it with clipping web sites and articles, to taking photos with my phone, and even using the Evernote voice recorder on my iPad. Once I have everything captured through my whole day, weeks, months and yes even years, I constantly use the search filter that is extremely great to dig out nuggets that I want to personally do, think about, work on with my teams, write about etc.. I add these nuggets to Trello boards. This allows me to share, keep track of progress, delegate, record, create to-do list, check list and so much more.

Then there is my private side of productivity. I want items not all lumped into Evernote to be brought out but I am not wanting to work on them in groups or with anyone else. Yes Trello can keep these type of things separate and private but Workflowy gives a different view of my list that go in. And the great additional piece that I like about Workflowy that Trell does not have for me, my daily or weekly email of my Workflowy. Yes I like to get that email as a reminder of what is still on the list. This email is like my comfort food of mashed potatoes, or pizza. It is not really any better than other foods I enjoy eating, it just serves personally a different felt purpose.

There you are my 3 steps and the tools I use to bring about the results that God has allowed me to enjoy in children’s ministry over the last 20+ years.

What is your system to stay creative, sharp, relevant, successful in your children’s ministry?

Better Children’s Ministries go beyond capture to execution

Yesterday I spent talking about how important it is to have a method of capturing everything from ideas, resources, talks, pictures and more. Today I want to continue this direction in once everything is captured how do you use it? To just have these resources will not benefit you unless you have a practical way of moving them into execution.

There are 2 tools that I use to help move things from the capture to execution. The first one I want to talk about briefly here is Trello. Trello for me is used with people, my team, volunteers, and leaders. I spend a little time every Monday going through Evernote and moving some items from there to Trello. These items are the agenda that I want to carry out with teams of people to an personal secretary, bottom line, want to carry out with others. This tool for me use to Omnifocus. The disadvantage of Omnifocus is it cost and for teams to work together everyone has to pay. Trello on the other hand is free. this is what has brought me back to Trello.

Trello allows me to take my behind the curtain catch-all (Evernote) and bring some of it public. Invite as many people as you want to a board. Board members can all add cards, make changes, upload attachments, and more. Changes made by others seem instantaneously on your screen. You never have to wait for a page to reload to see the latest. Email notifications and an activity log keep you informed of the latest changes. You can also subscribe to specific cards to get timely information on what you care about the most. Trello keeps a record of everything that’s happened on the card: comments, changes, additions. You’ll never wonder “How did that happen?” again.

Lastly about Trello, there is an app for your phone and for your computer. This way no matter if you are sitting at your laptop or even more mobile by your phone, Trello is ready to keep you productive.

Next we will spend some time discussing my last tool, Workflowy.

What methods do you have established to bring your great ideas and resources to execution?

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