Ministry work is continuous and lifelong. You would also agree that there are a lot of important things involved. Ministers need to take care of vital aspects of ministry such as sermons, meetings, teachings, evangelism, and so much more. And so, it is essential to be productive to maximize time and resources.
Being productive as a pastor is a function of how much training and discipline you have subjected yourself to. Given that, we have compiled some vital productivity tips to help you as a minister.
1. Practice Spiritual Discipline
Spiritual discipline is not one to be taken with levity or done arbitrarily. There’s no growth of any kind without discipline. A major activity which every Christian should inculcate is beginning every day with prayer and quality study of God’s Word. If you will successfully disciple people, you’ll need to have built consistency in a life of study and prayer. Set into your day time for prayers and time to study God’s Word. In doing this, there’s always strength made available to accomplish even much more in your day.
2. Set Ministry Priorities
Learn to set your activities per time in order of priority. You might be surprised that some of the activities you find yourself doing might be unnecessary. Draw up a list of things you need to do and list them according to an order of priority. Carefully analyze each of them, taking note of the tasks that you can delegate, automate, or even eliminate from your list.
3. Learn to Delegate
One of the best ways to be productive as a Pastor or a leader is to delegate responsibilities. You certainly cannot do everything yourself. You’ll always need people to work with you, and you’ll need those committed, not to you, but God’s mandate for you. Anyone can decide to be committed to you for whatever reasons, selfish or otherwise. You need people who understand that the work of the ministry is of God.
Do not delegate tasks; instead, delegate responsibilities. Doing the latter is a way to build more leaders like yourself. Give basic instructions but don’t tell them exactly what to do. Distribute responsibilities and allow them to handle the assignments in the best ways they can. It would also help them to develop initiative and be more involved.
4. Schedule Appointments With Yourself
As a Pastor, there will always be one appointment or two to attend to daily. Write down all the things you need to do daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you block time for all of them. There are many productivity tools available that can help you be more effective as you go about your daily ministry routines.
5. Organize Your Office
If your office space is disorganized, your mind might wander around. An organized space will reduce stress as well as improve productivity, focus and mental stability. A study has shown that people with clean and organized workspaces can work 7.5 minutes longer without losing focus than those with a disorganized workspace. Create a system, organize your files, dispose things you don’t need, and keep your space tidy and clean.
6. Create a Daily To-Do List
As simple as this is, most often than not, it makes a huge difference. Your massive list for the week or month could be rather overwhelming. Always put down (on a notepad, tablet or PC) all the things you need to get done in a day in order of priority. Take them one at a time and see to it that you accomplish each one before moving to the next task.
7. Set a Timer for Your Tasks
Setting a timer is very useful in propelling you to focus and work fast as well. Try giving yourself a specific time for your tasks and activities and see how you perform. It is a proven productivity technique. Just like every other skill, you get more effective as you practice; a lot less wasted time, and it’s pretty fun too.
8. Exercise Regularly
You also need to pay attention to the body God has given you. Exercise can improve productivity and help boost creativity. What’s more, it even becomes essential as you age. Regular physical exercise will keep you rejuvenated, and by extension, you’ll be healthier.
9. Take Rest Days and Get More Sleep
It’s not out of place to take time off every week to spend quality time doing something less serious. Pastors deserve some fun too. You could see a movie with your family, visit a friend or even go to play your favorite sport. Just make sure you create time to relax and enjoy yourself.
Do well to get enough sleep regularly too. A good sleep rejuvenates you, boosts productivity and helps you stay more focused throughout the day.
10. Don’t Go Alone to Meetings
You also need to get into the habit of training the right people to represent you when the need arises. One of the ways to do that is to take them along to meetings, if possible. That way, you’re training and grooming them to represent you in future meeting sessions. It makes your work easier, and you would have trusted hands to commit outings to in the event of your unavailability or clashing invitations.
There are much more productive habits to inculcate in, but these should suffice for starters. Get hold of them, consistently practice them and see yourself become more effective as a church leader.