It’s True, I’m Working for the Weekend!

Whether you’re a multisite or a single-site church leader, everyone in ministry is working for the weekend. If you’ve been in ministry any length of time, you’ve been asked more than once: “What do you do during the week?”

While someone who is not in full-time vocational ministry might not know what happens during the week, we do. Prayers are prayed, people are cared for in times of crisis, others are celebrated with during some of the most joyous moments of life. Bibles are studied, sermons are prepared, schedules are created, and songs are practiced. Plans are coming together for the next major event or outreach, teams are being mobilized for impact, leaders are being equipped, and the list goes on.

If you’re in ministry, you know about the actual work that should take place during the week, but let’s be honest. There are some ministry leaders who aren’t working during the week. In fact, I believe the weekend reveals what level of work has or hasn’t been during the week. I can’t help but wonder if the question, “What do you do all week?” came from frustrated weekend volunteers and church attendees?

Most of the time, the weekend reveals issues that should have been addressed Monday through Friday, but too many church staff leaders aren’t working for the weekend, they are working on the weekend.

The most critical part of my job as a campus pastor is not the platform time, but what I’m stewarding Monday through Friday.

So what does working for the weekend look like? Here are five things I “work” every week to make sure I’m ready for the weekend:

1. I connect with my team
Whether you have full-time staff members or not, you should be connecting with your staff/volunteer team weekly. We do this in various capacities, but the most important connect is to debrief the previous weekend, and forecast the coming weekend. As part of the debrief, it’s always important to share the wins. Looking for bright spots in your ministry is not as hard as you think. Where did you and your team win last weekend?

2. I share gratitude
We cannot do what we do without the people God has entrusted to us. Sharing our gratitude and thankfulness for our team is a daily job. Writing thank you notes, sending text messages or emails, and making personal calls are great ways to say “Thank You!” to an amazing volunteer. The adage, “What gets celebrated gets repeated!” is so true. When are you taking the time to express gratitude today?

3. I communicate early
Communication among teams is hard enough before you add the complexity of multisite ministry. As a leader, you cannot communicate enough. Key volunteers hate learning key things about the church during the announcement time, and your staff hates this too. Keeping volunteers and staff engaged and energized starts with communication. I love to tell our team, “You’re hearing this first!” or “We wanted you to be the first ones to know.” You’ll be surprised how thankful people are to know the direction. What do you know that your team needs to know now?

4. I prepare for the weekend (before the weekend)
As a campus pastor, I can’t prepare for my platform responsibilities on the weekend, I’ve got to get prepared beforehand. I typically do this on Thursday or Friday. I know a lot of ministry leaders take Friday off but I believe Friday is one of the best days to prepare for the weekend. Having carts for teams ready, supplies for the greeters, platforms prepared, and countless other tasks shouldn’t happen moments before service. What can you do today to prepare for the weekend?

5. I pray
This should go without saying, but I still struggle with the reality that I cannot do this on my own. Prayer reminds me of my role and God’s responsibility. Praying for your staff, volunteers, attendees, and guests shouldn’t happen only on the weekend. Create space to pray today for what God is going to do on the weekend.

Are you working for the weekend too? I’d love to hear your best practices for preparing for the weekend, comment below.

4 Apps Every Multisite Pastor Needs

Whenever I connect with a multisite pastor, I like to ask them a series of questions. The one question I always ask is: “What app are you using that makes you more successful?”, because I’m always on the hunt for tools to help me do my job more effectively and efficiently.

Here’re my four favorite productivity apps:

1. Nozbe
Nozbe is my to-do list; it helps me complete all my tasks, and is user-friendly. I’ve tried all the others: Clear, Wunderlist, Remember the Milk, and Reminders on iPhone, but for me, no task management tool compares to Nozbe. I’ve been able to reduce email, increase collaboration with my assistant, and get more done by creating several categories that help me batch tasks which results in more productivity and higher efficiency. My categories include: calls, planning, email, thank you notes, books to read, etc., and you can set a reminder for each task which ensures you don’t forget about it. I like that I can use Nozbe on all my Apple devices, and even though it’s not free, it will save you a significant amount of time.

2. Evernote
Everyone I know in ministry uses Evernote in some fashion or another, but not everyone uses the robust sharing feature. I share multiple notebooks and notes in Evernote with my wife, staff team and high capacity volunteers. Most importantly, I share individual notebooks with my direct reports that track and determine our one-on-one agenda items. These notes contain three priorities: their items, my items, and our action steps coming out of the meeting. A meeting that ends without action steps is a waste of time in my opinion. Since the notebook is shared, both you and the attendee can edit the file and populate it with future agenda items. I often use one-word list descriptions as a launching pad for the items I would like to discuss further in person. Michael Hyatt has a lot to share about Evernote; you can listen here. Don’t just use Evernote, share it.

3. Pocket
I’ll never forget the day I learned about Pocket from my friend Brian Taylor. Pocket has become my favorite app for saving, storing and tagging articles and social media posts of interest. I don’t have time to read everything I see on Twitter, but I always have time to put it in Pocket and read it later. My favorite feature within Pocket is the ability to tag and archive fabulous content for future reference. Like Evernote, I have Pocket on all my devices. It has become a massive storage drive of invaluable information that is literally in my pocket every day.

4. Asana
While Evernote is a great collaborative app, it hasn’t proven itself to beat Asana as my project management tool of choice. Asana allows our team to decrease email, share our progress with the team, and organize our work around a large project. It has changed the way we delegate tasks, communicate progress and administrate events. I no longer have to text or email a team member to see where he or she stands with a project, I can quickly check Asana for a status update. My favorite feature within this app is the ability to archive projects and campaigns that repeat seasonally. Year-after-year, we do a lot of the same things in ministry, and Asana allows us to unarchive those projects and reassign tasks. It takes a little training and follow-through to use Asana, but the investment is well worth it. Read and send less email, use Asana.

Those are four of my favorite productivity apps. What productivity tools you are using?