General Ministry

Father of 4 and husband of 1. He has been in youth ministry for over 20 years. Loves to surf, snowboard, run and hang with his family. Often speaks at camps and schools around the world, leads worship and has enjoyed doing improv over the years. Most recently he authored his first solo book project "Y is for Youth Worker," which can be found at simplyyouthministry.com. Erik w/a "k" calls Oregon home (cuz that's where his heart is...awww).

You don’t have to be the most organized person on the planet, but I think it’s high time we stop hiding behind a youth ministry stereotype. It’s a terrible stereotype that we love to buy into. I am just as guilty as anyone else with this. If there were details that didn’t get covered I would hear, “Classic youth pastor move.” This allowed me to be even more disorganized. It’s a terrible cycle.

So, I have taken steps to improve in this area of my life. I want to share with you 5 relatively simple steps to move you towards being a bit more organized: 

1) At the end of each day, take 5 minutes to think through what you need to get done tomorrow and write it down.You would be amazed at how that really helps you be more productive the next day. You have somewhat of a plan set before you.

2) Make your list attainable. No one likes to fail. If you make a list of things that is so large you will get mad at yourself and you will actually accomplish less.Try to keep your list to 5 things.

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3) If there are more things than you know you can accomplish, see if there is anything you can delegate. Whether you have assistant or not, likely there are people in your church who love to do detail work. Ask around and see if someone could help you with some of your details to the project you are working on.

4) Start your day off with the toughest project on your list. Brian Tracy wrote a book called Eat That Frog.The title comes from the idea that if the hardest thing you have to do today is a eat a frog, eat it first. If you have to eat 2 frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

5) Find a few apps to help you along the way. I use an app called “Things” as a to-do list. You can make different projects that have lists under each of them. I have a “project” for each day of the week. At the end of each day, I open up “Things” and plug in my list I want to accomplish for the next day. I also use a Pomodoro app which is basically a countdown clock. It counts down 25 minutes. At the end of the 25 minutes it gives you 5 minutes to take a break. Get up and walk around. Fire off a text. Call someone. Get a drink of water. Whatever. This is actually really helpful for your productivity.

The key to making these changes is this…do it.

Choose all 5 or 1, but do something, anything that takes a step toward being more organized. It will certainly pay off for you, your family, and your ministry.


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  • Rob Williams says:

    Great thoughts to help the disorganized youth worker become more organized! I’m only in the first year of ministry but I can see how accepting this stereotype could be destructive down the road. I love the simplicity of your ideas…Very practical! Thanks Erik with a “K”.

  • Erik with a "K" says:

    Thanx Rob. I hope you are able to implement some of these tips and that you and your team is better for it.

  • Jason says:

    Great tips…I’m going to read “eat that frog”. Thanks for the tips

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