Where did this year go? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about gearing up for the new year, then we were getting a jump on Easter, now it’s come and gone and we’re in the thick of summer. With camps, VBS and mission trips all planned, now is the time to use the rest of your summer to plan for the rest of the year. If you’ve read my book “Beat The Clock” or any of my other articles on time management here on the Orange Leader’s Blog, you’ve heard me say there are just four steps to change from a mere calendar keeper to an effective time management.
The first step is planning.
Identify every event, including meetings you need to have, for leaders, parents as well as kids and students. Don’t forget about training. Be sure and go on www.orangetour.org and see when and where we are coming nearest to you. Now is the right time to add this to your calendar and have your workers save some vacation to use to attend this special fall event. By planning early and having your workers sign up early you can take advantage of the early bird discounts. After you’re all signed up for Orange Tour start with something to celebrate back to school. This can be a party or celebration of a family play night. Then do a kickoff or training for small group leaders or a new worker orientation meeting for new folks to the team. Mix it up and do something different, always add food (If you feed them, they will come! Have a meet your small group leader event for kids and parents. September is a great time to train both parents and small group leaders with Orange’s Phase Guides and resources. Phase banquets or events are a great way to combine fun, building relationships and training for families and leaders.
Next plan October. What are you doing for Halloween? Why not try something new? If you usually do a trunk or treat or fall festival try doing stuff as families and help establish block parties so families can get to know their neighbors and also be introduced to your church. In a low key, party atmosphere. At your events include advertising for what you’re doing for families for the rest of the year especially Christmas. October is another great time for a Student fall retreat or Family Hiking Adventure.
November is the natural time to build in opportunities to serve others and allow your kids and students to serve others. Look for ministries who need can goods so area food banks can be restocked. Talk to local feeding ministries about how kids and families can serve together. Collect needed clothing items for the upcoming chilly temperatures. I’ve done something called HUGS for Homeless. Collect Hats, Underwear, Gloves and Socks for your local homeless or for kids at risk.
December is another month I want to provide opportunities for kids and students to think about others and not just themselves. There’s no way to teach that it’s better to give than to receive than to give others various opportunities to give. Contact your local Department of Human Services or other Orphan Care Services and do an Angel Tree just for them. Also, now is the time to order and take a look at Jingle Jam or call Yancy about booking a Fancy Yancy Christmas. Now is also the perfect time to celebrate your volunteers. Free coffee from your Church’s cafe or even a dated ornament is a real hit. (There are tons of great inexpensive ideas on Pinterest.)
Now that planning is in place, the second step is preparation.
Look at everything you’ve planned and work backwards, identifying to-do’s and steps to take your plan into reality. Also identify what leaders need to be involved, as well as other instructions and details. If God leads us in steps (and He does), it’s important to think in steps and not leaps and jumps.
The third step of being more than a calendar keeper is evaluation.
That’s when you evaluate and examine how you are spending your time. What time wasters are knocking you off track? Make changes daily based on your evaluations to add flesh to your plans and preparations.
The fourth and final step is delegation.
To whom can you assign portions of this plan to help you pull this off? What are you doing that someone else can do? Take them with you, train them and teach them how to do it, then you go do what only you can do.
We all know fall is coming, so use these weeks wisely and follow these steps. Last minute works for some but not for Noah. He started building the ark before the rains came, not afterward. So quit reading this blog and get out your calendar and get to working on your fall!