Mar 25, 2015

What's Causing You to Limp Into Weekend Services?

Do you limp into weekend services?

Do you find yourself struggling to get one foot in front of the other on Sunday morning when you know you should be running?

Do you enter the weekend with your energy tank on empty when you need it to be full?

Here are some things that may be causing you to limp into the weekend.

Doing too much. 
When I first started in ministry, I was taught to get as many "hooks" in the water as possible.  The rationale was the more ministries you have, the more fish you will catch.  I have found the opposite to be true.  Trying to do lots of things will leave you limping into the weekend and result in less fruit.  

In this post, I share how to determine what to say "no" to

Mid-week programming.
About a year ago, we went to 6 services on weekends.  For us, that was the tipping point for ceasing mid-week children's programming.  We knew we couldn't do 6 weekend services coming off of a mid-week program.  Let me rephrase that...we could...but we would be limping.  And we couldn't afford to limp into the most effective thing we do.

Big events.
I love big events.  And I've done a lot of them over the years.  The problem...in the past, I did too many in a year.  And the weekends suffered because of it.  What I had hoped would be a boost for the weekend, ended up being a drain on the weekend.

Now I only do two big events each year.  A Fall Festival in October and a 1 night family experience in the summer.  That's it.  Do I miss all the big events?  Yes...but I don't miss the limp they caused.  And our weekend services are much stronger because of it.

Not taking your day off.
I know...you've got too much on your plate to take your day off.   Been there...done that...and limped into the weekend too many times to know that you can't afford NOT to take your day off.  You think you are getting more done by working on your day off, but in actuality you are getting less done.  You will be more productive over the course of the week if you take your day off.

I take off Fridays.  It helps me catch my breath and go into the weekend rested instead of exhausted.

Not using your vacation time.
Again, by experience, I can tell you that not using your vacation time will not only cause you to limp into the weekend, but can take you out of ministry completely.  You can read more about that here.

When you pull away, it helps you return refreshed, strong and ready to conquer weekends.  Along those lines, it's important to include being away for the weekend when you are on vacation.  Being off for a weekend makes you better when you come back to it.

Working too many hours during the week.
It's hard not to chuckle when someone asks what you do all week.  As if all the programming, volunteers and avalanche of details magically appear on the weekend.  I know if takes a lot to pull the weekend off, but don't spend so much time getting ready to pull the weekend off that you don't have any energy left to actually pull it off.  Make sure you balance your time.
 
Poor calendaring.
Do you carefully plan and space out the items on your ministry calendar?  If not, you can find yourself with back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back events and activities that cause you to limp into the weekend.  

Stress
Stress during the week can drain you and leave you empty when the weekend rolls around.  There is going to be stress...it's part of life.  But you can manage it and keep it from causing you to limp.  One way is to exercise during the week.  Exercise is a great stress reliever.  Another way is to have a hobby or other outlet that takes your mind off what is stressing you.

It's also good to avoid stressful conversations or conflicts going into the weekend.  Of course, things pop up that are out of your control, but as much as possible deal with the ones you know about early in the week.

Not getting enough sleep.
Lack of sleep causes limping.  Get a good night's sleep going into the weekend. 

A crazy summer schedule.
Up until the last few years, summer was our busiest time of the year in children's ministry.  We did lots of stuff.  The stuff we were doing was good...but it was causing us to limp into the weekends of the Fall season.  The Fall is one of our most important seasons of growth and reaching new families.  It's hard to bring your A game in the Fall when you've spent all your energy during the summer months.  We've slowed down our summers so we can be ready to run hard in the Fall.  I talk more about this in this here.
 
Each weekend is the super bowl for children's ministry.  Don't go into it with a limp.

2 comments:

Hey Dale..great word as usual.

When you use the term "big events", does that include any event outside of the weekend services? Do you have any smaller events throughout the year?

I would classify big event things like VBS, summer camp, etc. that would involve most or all of your ministry. We do a half-day serving trip for 4-5th graders and milestones like baptism, child dedication, etc.

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