Ministry Development, Personal Growth, Stories

Scheduling Rest and Planning Time

Guest post by Ryan Borowicz Living in Northeast Wisconsin in November means two things for a Sports Outreach Ministry leader: #1…Never schedule anything from Noon to 3:00pm on a Sunday. #2…Make sure you set the alarm clock for April 15th so you can wake up from your winter hibernation. The first rule has to do with the obvious…the Green Bay Packers.  And even though the Packers are having a subpar season so far and the hated Vikings and their new grey-bearded leader are killing it, all attention is on the NFL this time of year and you are just asking for low attendance if you schedule anything on a Sunday…or for that matter…anything on a weekend during football season!  The second rule has to do with our crummy weather from October through April.  And working at a church that does not have a gymnasium or any type of all-purpose room means I need to get pretty creative for those seven months.  And for awhile when I first started working here, I felt like I needed to fill every day of the year with some sort of activity.  When I would look at the large calendar on my wall and there wasn’t much going on from October through April, I felt like I wasn’t doing my job.  But over the four years I have been here, I’ve become more and more content with leaving that calendar blank for parts of the year.  And what do I do with all of that time when nothing is scheduled?  Rest and plan. We hear all of the time about how the number one reason people get out of ministry is “Burn Out.” And for many pastors, that burn out comes because their time and schedule is dictated to them by the needs of the people in their congregation.  For me, since I am not a pastor and don’t have the responsibilities they have, if I ever get burned out, it’s my fault.  I have the ability to schedule as much activity as I want…and as little as I want.  So in order to avoid that burnout, I’ve begun taking the months of November and December and March and April to rest and plan.  The way our sports ministry is set up, the overwhelming majority of our activities take place between June and September, so come fall, I’m ready for a rest!  And fortunately, I’m not required to bring in a certain amount of money through programming to pay for my salary, as some Sports Outreach leaders are.  So even though there are still days during those four months of November, December, March, and April, that I feel I should be doing something, I use that time to rest and look ahead on that calendar and plan.  Because I’m so busy from June through September, I rarely take any time to plan ahead and seek God for the vision of this ministry.  But by scheduling in some down time activity wise, I’m able to spend time planning, seeking input from others, and gearing up for the next busy season. So if you have any type of flexibility in your scheduling, I challenge you to not schedule ANYTHING!!! It will be difficult at first and you’ll feel like you should be doing something.  But remember…resting and planning ARE something.  And they are two things you probably need more of.