Allowing Room for Margin

Do what only you can do and let somebody else do the rest.  This is the best advice I have for busy ministry leaders!  It can be tempting in children’s ministry to just do it all yourself, because you know YOU will do it the way you want it done.  The problem with that is, there is only one of you and 24 hours in a day (that also needs to include things like family time and sleep), and you are robbing someone else of the opportunity to be part of life change!  From day one of ministry, it is so valuable to keep your eyes above the current volunteers and volunteer situation, looking, always looking for that next person to invite into your circle of ministry.

First decide, what is it that only you can do?  Make a list, that may include things like – casting vision for your ministry, setting goals- both short term and long term, building into current leaders to bring them up to the next level of leadership, providing ways for leaders to connect with parents, you connecting with parents, planning consistent training opportunities.  Then it’s on to what can somebody else do?  Perhaps that list would include: putting up new bulletin boards each month, building sets, wiping down all the nursery toys, replacing batteries in toys, editing lessons, shopping for supplies, scouring the internet and garage sales for great bargains for upcoming months, preparing small group leader boxes during the week, assisting new families at check in, keeping up with volunteers birthdays, set up and tear down for meetings.  Many of these things do not even require someone to be present on Sunday morning!  Start looking for those people who may be available to serve outside “normal” serving times.  The next time someone says, I really don’t think I can be a small group leader, or, I really don’t think I can commit that much time, have a running list in your head (or on your phone!) of other areas of opportunity that don’t require a Sunday morning commitment.

When you start giving away tasks you can then work on next steps for current volunteers – always be thinking about what the next level is for them.  A volunteer who is an exceptional communicator to other volunteers, could become a coach.  Someone really struggling in a role, might require some time and conversation on your part to find out where they feel more gifted – that volunteer who is serving as a small group leader only because you really needed someone, but doesn’t seem comfortable, might would jump at the opportunity to make copies, cut out puzzle pieces and pack boxes!  You have to allow enough margin in your life to be able to spot those next level opportunities or to see when someone is struggling in the area they are currently serving.

Doing what only you can do, and letting someone else do the rest, is a great step in allowing that margin!  What are things you are doing now that someone else could be doing (and maybe even doing better!)


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