Saw a great question online today from a YM friend.  She was asking about keeping track of hours in youth ministry.  I'm lucky in that I don't have to keep official time-sheets or anything like that in my job.

HOWEVER, there are two things I do that I consider healthy practices:

#1 - I always keep my pastor and my administrator informed of what I have going on.  Meetings, lunches, projects, etc.  Even communicating in a general sense what I'm up to helps them to know where I'm at and lets them avoid having to give an "I don't know" or other awkward answer to the question "what is the youth minister doing?"

#2 - I keep a flexible "time map".  This is a basic guide to what I'm doing during the week.  I break each day down in to three sections - morning (8-12), afternoon (1-5), and evening (5-9), and then assign each block the general tasks I seek to accomplish during that time.  If you're interested, here's what my time map looks like:

Morning - Staff meeting, administrative tasks.
Afternoon - Office stuff, calendar review (long and short term), event/activity planning.
Evening - Family time.

Morning - Midweek program prep/set-up, office stuff, miscellaneous ministry "to-dos".
Afternoon - Midweek program prep/set-up, relational time with students.
Evening - Family time.

Morning - Message prep, reading, writing, web stuff (from home).
Afternoon - Midweek program "finishing touches", visioneering, "marketing" (newsletters, e-mails, FB stuff, etc.) (from home).
Evening - Midweek youth program.

Morning - Small group prep, volunteer connections (from home).
Afternoon - Weekend worship/program prep, office stuff.
Evening - Flex-time (sometimes family, sometimes relational time with students).

Morning - Flex-time (finishing up anything left to do for the weekend, from home).
Afternoon - Home/house stuff (cleaning, laundry, etc. - yeah, I do that stuff!).
Evening - Family (date with my wife!).

Sabbath/family time ALL DAY.

Morning - Worship/program time.
Afternoon - Flex-time (family, students, or meetings).
Evening - Program time.

That's it!  What does your week look like?


05/18/2011 14:37

this is a great tool to keep track of what we do as youth workers. and I totally agree that it is on us to keep our supervisors in the loop as to what we are doing and how we are spending our time.

I would add that most youth workers i know are not very efficient, including me. every couple of months I keep a log half hour by half hour for a week. it is pretty surprising how much time i waste and if I ws truly going after it, I could get way more done.

most of us, don't need as much office time as we think. I have gotten to where I can crank out my admin tasks by Tuesday lunch, then I have the rest of the week to hang with studnts and to guilt free read and write.

thanks for putting this in front of us.

Tim Blake
05/27/2011 06:18

05/27/2011 06:20

Thanks Ben! I agree with you on the office hours, unfortunately I know a lot of YM's are required to fill office hours. I have to at least "make an appearance" 3 days a week for a few hours at a time. I guess it's a matter of what the culture of the church and/or senior leader(s) is like.

I feel you on the time wasting side of things too. When I first started in YM I would waste a LOT of time... actually starting to use different time management techniques coupled with how many responsibilities get added to you after time goes on means that those days are long gone!


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